Anadarko Petroleum latest to report a hefty loss for the fourth quarter as crude oil prices drift toward $30 per barrel. Photo by Christopher Halloran/Shutterstock
HOUSTON, Feb. 2 (UPI) -- U.S. shale and offshore player Anadarko Petroleum announced plans to cut spending after posting a fourth quarter loss of $1.25 billion.
The price for West Texas Intermediate crude oil, the U.S. benchmark price, is, at around $31 per barrel, 38 percent lower than on this date in 2015 and more than 70 percent below mid-2014. That trajectory has left energy companies with less capital for investments and forced many in the industry to cut jobs.
Anadarko Petroleum was the latest to report a heavy loss in the fourth quarter, posted a $1.25 billion loss for the fourth quarter.
"As discussed last year at this time, we did not expect oil prices to recover in 2015 and believed it could take well into 2016 before markets would stabilize on a sustained basis, costs would become more aligned with the new operating environment and investments in short-cycle assets would be more attractive," Al Walker, the company's top executive, said in a statement.
Year-on-year, the company said it planned to cut spending by almost 40 percent in 2015, or more than $3 billion.
The company touted its ability in working through the low-price environment, saying it sold off about $2 billion in assets, spent $500 million less and increased output by around 25,000 barrels of oil per day.
Crude oil prices are lower in part because companies working in U.S. shale basins are more resilient to weak market pressures than expected. Demand should move closer to balance with supplies toward the end of 2016 as production nevertheless starts to fade.
Anadarko operates primarily in shale basins in northeastern Colorado and western Texas, as well as in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico.