Anadarko Petroleum to sell $3 billion in assets this year

Anadarko Petroleum has announced plans to sell $3 billion in assets this year while cutting spending on new wells and other projects by almost 50 percent as the oil and natural gas producer weathers the crude market collapse.

Anadarko’s U.S. onshore activities will be reduced the most, by almost $2.5 billion, The Woodlands, Texas-based Anadarko said in a statement Tuesday. Anadarko will also lower its onshore rig count by 80 percent to five. Internationally, the producer expects minimal funding in Mozambique in 2016 as it works toward a final decision on a liquefied natural gas project.

“They have a lot of levers to pull, and they’re pulling them all,” Subash Chandra, an analyst at Guggenheim Securities with a neutral rating on the stock, said in a phone interview. “The main risk was the risk of equity dilution, and that is now off the table.”

Anadarko projects 2016 capital expenditures at $2.6 billion to $2.8 billion, almost 50 percent lower than last year. Nearly half of those investments are slated for onshore U.S. fields. Last month, Anadarko cut its dividend by 81 percent, the first reduction in company history. The change is expected to save about $450 million a year.

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“We intend this year to continue to improve our credit story and doing it without diluting our equity story,” Chief Executive Officer Al Walker said in a conference call to discuss the guidance.

The company will focus more on managing debt than on expansion and acquisitions and doesn’t see a need to issue equity this year, Walker said. Asset sales and lower spending will help Anadarko toward its goal of spending “well within” cash flows and reducing net debt.

Anadarko is down about 53 percent in the past year.