Anadarko posts third-quarter loss

Anadarko Petroleum Corp. swung to a loss in the third quarter as several one-time items overshadowed a gain in oil and gas production.

The loss came in at $8 million, compared with a profit of $209 million in the July-to-September period a year ago, The Woodlands-based oil and gas producer said. Revenue fell 11 percent to $2.55 billion from $2.87 billion.

Anadarko, which owns a 25 percent stake in BP’s blown-out Macondo well, did not mention the deadly April 20 accident once by name in a press statement released late Monday. But in a separate regulatory filing, it went into detail about potential financial risks.

The company said it refused to pay more than $2.6 billion in invoices from BP from the massive oil spill cleanup effort in the Gulf of Mexico and related costs. BP has to date incurred more than $15 billion in such costs, Anadarko said in the filing with U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Anadarko believes it should be exempted from certain liabilities because of what it has called BP’s “reckless” management of the Macondo well.

But the company acknowledged in the filing it “cannot reasonably estimate the amount of any federal, state or local penalties” it could face nor potential costs resulting from lawsuits. It also warned that it may soon begin having to set aside money for spill-related costs, which could have an impact on its financial situation.

In the third quarter, losses on derivatives, interest expenses and other charges shaved $129 million from Anadarko’s net income, the company said.

Minus those factors, “the quarter showed positive earnings, and our cash flows remained strong,” Anadarko Chairman and CEO Jim Hackett said in a statement.

Total production, or sales volume, of natural gas, crude oil and natural gas liquids increased nearly 2 percent, mostly due to improved output from U.S. fields.

The company was drilling two offshore wells when the Interior Department in May banned deep-water drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. Though the moratorium was lifted Oct. 12, Anadarko said regulators must approve new permits before it can resume operations.

Elsewhere, the company announced an offshore oil and gas discovery in the Tarakan Basin of Indonesia. After drilling a 12,950-foot well in 230 feet of water, teams found 133 net feet of oil and natural gas pay. The company, which operates the block with a 35 percent stake, now is discussing further options with partners.

Anadarko is scheduled to hold a conference call Tuesday morning to discuss third quarter results.