It's been more than a year now since Anadarko Petroleum (NYSE:APC) announced its big bet on energy prices. That's when the large independent acquired two very large companies that have boosted Anadarko's presence in areas such as the Rockies and the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. By all accounts, it looks as though the integration is going remarkably well.

Production in the quarter increased to 574,000 barrels of oil equivalent (BOE) per day, up by 46% after adjusting for asset sales. That's the sort of ferocious growth only a large acquisition can provide. Top-line results soared 83% higher, thanks in part to the company's natural-gas hedges, which added nearly a dollar to price realizations. Year to date, those hedges are a wash, but that's the whole point, really. Anadarko needs relatively stable prices to work off its large debt load.

OK, so Anadarko's flows are all pumped up, but at what cost? I'm glad you asked.

As I noted in my recent piece on Apache's (NYSE:APA) solid quarter, it's absolutely critical to watch the rise of operating costs in relation to production volumes. In Anadarko's case, per-barrel operating costs came in 25% higher than in the prior year. In isolation, that rise looks scary, but relative to the higher oil and gas flows, I'm comfortable with the number. Anadarko still has plenty of divestment opportunities, and I think the company should to be able to wring some more costs out of the portfolio.

A major development since the end of the quarter was the timely start-up of Independence Hub, the world's deepest offshore production platform and largest natural-gas-processing facility. Enterprise Products Partners (NYSE:EPD) and Helix Energy Solutions (NYSE:HLX) jointly own the platform, while a consortium of E&P companies will be tying wells in and operating the facility. Anadarko has a 60% claim on the platform's estimated 1-billion-cubic-foot-per-day capacity. While this substantial incremental supply may pressure natural gas prices a bit, I continue to see a bright future for gas and the operators such as Anadarko, EOG Resources (NYSE:EOG), and Cimarex Energy (NYSE:XEC) who flow the stuff.

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Fool contributor Toby Shute doesn't own shares in any company mentioned. Cimarex is an Inside Value recommendation. Enterprise Products Partners is an Income Investor recommendation. The Motley Fool has a ferocious disclosure policy.