Anadarko production drops in flooded Colorado

Nearly a month’s worth of flooding has slowed Anadarko Petroleum Corp.’s drilling in the swamped northeastern Colorado oil patches, delays that could push the company’s annual production down by 2.5 million barrels of oil.

That’s just a tiny fraction of the Houston producer’s production guidance of 281 million to 287 million barrels of oil for 2013. But the region, Wattenberg, Colo., is home to some of the company’s “most important areas of operation,” Anadarko, the world’s 4th-largest independent oil producer, said Friday.

Since the flooding began Sept. 10, 1,027 barrels of oil have spilled in region, according to an Oct. 2 report by the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission.

Currently, the company is facing difficulties moving rigs, compression units and other heavy equipment in the area through the damaged bridges, rails and roads. And it has shut in 11 percent of its 5,800 wells in the Wattenberg, Colo. area.

The company expects to increase production as environmental hazards subside, and it plans to add 350 to 400 new horizontal wells in the region next year, said Al Walker, chief executive of Anadarko.

Most of the company’s operations in the area – in addition to the wells, 3,200 miles of pipeline and 2,500 storage tank facilities – remain intact, and the damage has not affected its hydraulic fracturing activities, Anadarko said.