March 12, 2012 / 9:45 PM / 6 years ago

UPDATE 1-Anadarko sees higher capex in 2012

* 2012 capex seen at $6.6 bln to $6.9 bln

* 2012 output seen at 256 mmboe to 260 mmboe

March 12 (Reuters) - Anadarko Petroleum Corp on Monday forecast its total capital expenditures for the year will rise as much as 13 percent as the exploration and production company pursues more profitable crude oil output from developments in the Gulf of Mexico and offshore Africa.

Even as spending rises, the pace of output growth is expected to slow to this year as the company cuts production of so-called less profitable “dry” natural gas in the United States.

A massive oversupply in the United States has pushed natural gas prices to the lowest level in about a decade.

Anadarko plans to spend more than 90 percent of its exploration and production capital toward oil and gas that is rich in liquids and can be sold at higher prices, while “dialing back” dry gas drilling and production, the company said.

Anadarko, based in Houston, said total capital expenditures are expected to be between $6.6 billion and $6.9 billion, compared with $6.1 billion in 2011.

Oil and gas production for the year will range from 256 million to 260 million barrels of oil equivalent, up as much a 4.5 percent from 248 million in 2011, the company said in a news release ahead of its analyst meeting.

In 2011, the company’s production rose 6 percent.

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