Anadarko Petroleum Sells Canadian Subsidiary

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Anadarko Petroleum Sells Canadian Subsidiary

HOUSTON -- Anadarko Petroleum Corp. has agreed to sell its Canadian subsidiary, Anadarko Canada Corp., to Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. for an estimated $4.24 billion, The Associated Press reported.

The company announced in June that it sought to sell the subsidiary, the first of several sales in connection with the company's two major acquisitions: Kerr McGee Corp. for $16.4 billion and Western Gas Resources Inc. for $4.7 billion.

Anadarko's chief executive, Jim Hackett, told the AP that the sale of the Canadian unit would help the company focus its portfolio and reduce debt. The deal is expected to close by the end of October, two months earlier than predicted.

"It's certainly a positive to be able to begin reducing their debt sooner, and that's an important signal to the market," said Tom Covington, an analyst with A.G. Edwards. "What they are doing is trading out lower-growth Canadian properties for higher-growth properties acquired from Kerr McGee and Western Gas. That's how to look at this transaction."

The sale excludes Anadarko's share in Mackenzie Delta and other Canadian artic properties. Those assets are still up for grabs, the company stated. More sales are to be expected, possibly before the end of 2006, according to analysts. Those sales might include deep-water assets in development located in the Gulf of Mexico.

"They are asking themselves, how much concentration do they want to have in the Gulf of Mexico, thinking of the hurricane risk and the concentration risk in one region," Dave Heikkinen, an analyst with Pickering Energy Partners Inc. told the AP.