Feb 5 (Reuters) - Anadarko Petroleum Corp said on Tuesday it has stepped up security at its facilities in Algeria following a deadly gas plant siege by Islamist militants in January.
“As I‘m sure you can expect, we have taken appropriate actions with Sonatrach and with the Algerian government to enhance security for people and our facility,” Anadarko CEO Al Walker told analysts on a conference call.
Walker declined to provide additional details, but said his company remained committed to Algeria. Sonatrach is Algeria’s state-owned oil company.
At least 80 people were killed in a bloody showdown between Algerian security forces and armed hostage takers in the In Amenas gas field located in the Sahara desert.
Anadarko and its partners are currently producing oil from its Hassi Berkine South and Ourhoud projects in the Sahara. At its El Merk development, sales volumes are expected to increase steadily throughout 2013, Walker said.
Anadarko on Monday reported fourth-quarter results that exceeded analysts expectations, helped by an 8 percent increase in oil and gas production, lower expenses and better gas price realizations, analysts said.
Investors are anxiously waiting a judge’s ruling in a $25 billion case brought against Anadarko by paint materials company Tronox Inc, a decision that could come at any time.
Tronox has claimed that when it was spun off in 2005 by Kerr-McGee Corp, which Anadarko later bought, it had been saddled with liabilities that led to its January 2009 bankruptcy filing. Tronox emerged from Chapter 11 protection in February 2011.
With the support of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Tronox also claims that Anadarko should pay for environmental cleanup at more than 2,000 polluted U.S. sites.
Bobby Reeves, Anadarko’s general counsel, told analysts he was confident in the company’s case at trial and said a loss is not probable.
Shares of Anadarko rose $1.65, or 2 percent, to $82.15 in midday New York Stock Exchange trading.