Drilling efficiency driving Anadarko's costs down

Tue Dec 4, 2012 11:50am EST

Dec 4 (Reuters) - Anadarko Petroleum Corp on Tuesday said shorter drilling times in its onshore basins like the Eagle Ford shale in south Texas are driving its energy production costs lower.

To date in the fourth quarter, Anadarko said its Eagle Ford drilling times averaged less than 9.5 days per well, a 25 percent improvement over a year earlier.

As a result of that and other efficiencies, the company said its expects its fourth-quarter oil and natural gas operating costs to fall to $3.90 to $4.00 per barrel oil equivalent (boe) from a prior forecast for $4.00 to $4.20 boe.

Additionally, four of Anadarko's U.S. fields each produced more than 100,000 boe per day this quarter, a factor that will help the company achieve its full-year output forecast for 265 to 267 million boe, it said.

Analysts at Houston energy investment bank said Anadarko was "firing on all cylinders" and raised its earnings per share estimate for the fourth quarter to 83 cents per share from 81 cents per share.

Shares of Anadarko rose 4 cents to $73.83 in late morning New York Stock Exchange trading.

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