Anadarko (APC) UBS Global Oil and Gas Conference - Transcript

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Anadarko Petroleum Corporation (NYSE:APC)

UBS Global Oil and Gas Conference

May 20, 2014 11:00 AM ET


Chuck Meloy - EVP, U.S. Onshore Exploration and Production


William Featherston - UBS

William Featherston - UBS

Okay, we are going to get started right away and try and stay on schedule. I am very pleased to introduce Anadarko Petroleum, our management team, we have John Colglazier from IR and Chuck Meloy who is Executive Vice President responsible for U.S. Onshore. Chuck?

Chuck Meloy

Thank you, Bill, and I'd like to thank each one of you for taking the time today to spend a little time with us and talking about our investment thesis with Anadarko. So you all know, this in oil Moving right along, we are -- so here is what we are trying to do at Anadarko. We believe we have unmatched optionality with some really strong growth, particularly on the U.S. onshore oils. The deep portfolio that's behind that growth, you guys are very familiar with, with the assets that it comes from is Wattenberg, its West Texas, its Eagle Ford, and then some really nice NGL growth in East Texas and the Buttes.

The way we are continuing to manage our portfolio, staying within cash flow with our capital expenditures and seeking high returns, and we believe that's what's going to deliver the most value to you guys. And the way I want to kind of spin the clock back a little bit and talk about what we said five years ago and see if we kind of check the boxes, and this is what you see -- we have looked at a growth rate of 5% to 7% we guided. WE looked at the reserve replacement in addition to 150%, that was a knock on Anadarko a while back, we got it, and then you look at our F&D, its pure leaning, certainly top quartile in every year for the last five years. It has been a great story, it has been led by shale plays, and I think we have done the shale plays very efficiently, even with respect to our neighbors. So I am excited about that.

We have also continued to look at our portfolio, as we added these nice plays, the discoveries like Mozambique, Shenandoah, Lucius and Heidelberg, we have also kept the trimmings working. We have knocked up about $10 billion of monetization, some in those plays for carries and additional leverage into our developments. And over that five years, we also had $3 billion of free cash flow, which is quite different than many of our high growth trends.

So what are we looking to do? This year, we have talked about this at our Analyst Day, we are going to continue that growth. You saw it, the first signs of that in the first quarter. I feel like we had a really good first quarter. There was a lot of folks that dealt with weather conditions, both in the Rockies and in West Texas and we walked through that in pretty good shape. You can see the increment between our same store sales this year to next -- from last year to this year, it’s a nice growth pattern, it’s dominated by oil production. 40,000 barrels a day of oil growth over that time frame, which is truly remarkable. It’s all focused in the Wattenberg, El Merk, and the West Texas areas, and along with the Eagle Ford; and again, we continue to show very good F&D for our investors.

One thing that we were able to do with our business model, we want to continue to maintain our investment grade rating, so you will see some really strong financial discipline within us. We have invested within cash flow for the last five years, we are going to maintain that process. We have $6 billion cash on hand at the end of the first quarter, that puts us in a good position to take care of the Tronox liabilities. Our 2014 cash flows, we expanded them after the first quarter, to match the commodity position that we are seeing right now in our production agreements, and we continue to do the monetizations, we announced our China monetization earlier this year, and we anticipate using the equity positions that we have within WES and WGP for future monetizations as we go forward. So strong balance sheet, we are going to take the hit with regard to Tronox and build it right back.

So we often get asked, what is our capital allocation process; this is the way we think about it. its very important that we continue to invest in the short cycle projects, have great economics and that's the bulk of our allocation, in the order of 70% of our allocation goes to U.S. onshore shale plays and developments, as well as some of these mega projects get closer and closer to first production like Lucius and Heidelberg and El Merk, there's investments in those.

We have mid-cycle projects, the two to four-five year type projects, represent about 15% of our investment and 10% is into our longer duration higher risk exploration projects. We have a really good R&D business behind our business that continues to push great projects into our position like Mozambique, like Lucius, like Heidelberg. Our West Texas activities came from our exploration team. So a nice pipeline, a nice allocation process. Its built from the bottom-up, has real strong metrics, all the way through the system, and has a virtuous replenishment cycle associated with it.

So it’s nice to have this pipeline, and it’s particularly important that it translates into growth. If you look at this growth cycle, I think its pretty apparent where its coming from. If you just break down the different elements, we have 8 billion plus barrels of very low risk, in field, near field type activities. Its -- there is a lot of it sitting in the shales, but you can't discount activities like Mozambique, the Buttes, Wattenberg, we don't put in the shales in this deal, but there is a beautiful position with regard to our inventory, and we can continue to add to this. So there is no doubt where we are going to be, that we have the options already captured. We don't have to go do a big acquisition to bring an inventory, it’s a really strong portfolio. We are really proud of it, we continue to high grade it, and we have continued to take advantage of it and it has not been that many years ago when we had a large Eagle Ford JV, large Marcellus JV, so regardless whether its onshore or offshore, when those opportunities arise, we are going to take advantage of it, to get the most returns, the most value for our owners.

So you saw my titles, so this is what I am most proud of frankly, this is a business that we really started back in 2009 and 2010, it started from ground zero. We built a company that's now a business segment, some 375,000 barrels a day. Big, you look at it, as we have gone through time and it has just been a tremendous growth story. Its really a testament to what I view as some of the finest folks in the business doing the execution. We do a lot of benchmarking within Anadarko, both internally and externally, and I am really proud of where we sit with regard to -- if you take a look at, say, the Dodson drilling database, that does a lot of benchmarking with regard to drilling both onshore and offshore. We are in a really good spot there, our guys have just done a fantastic job, pulling the days from spud to TD down. Same goes with our completion technology, all that is built and put into this to make a tremendous value add.

And then other thing I want to really focus on, is the efficiency of doing it. There is a lot of folks that have improvement, but if you are improving up the wrong spot, that's not very helpful. I think the thing that we are doing, and I am personally very proud of is to sit here and say, we are in a really good spot, we are in the top quartile and many of the metrics that people look at us, and we are still improving, we are still doing it very efficiently. We are adding wedge volumes, new volumes at about $35,000 per flowing barrel. That's a ratio with a third or a quarter of what it takes on the acquisition market. So it’s a very nice piece of business. Our growth rates are really strong. We had 12% year-over-year growth, even at this size; and that's another metric I want you to think about. This is twice the size of many midcaps, so it’s a very large business and its going extremely well; and frankly, I see some pretty smooth sailing in front of us. We are in a position now with regard to infrastructure, and our capital investments or knowledge of these fields, tuning up our frac recipes, those kind of things, they are in front of us, so we have a lot of open water in front of us right now.

I think the premier asset from an investment perspective on the U.S. onshore today is the Wattenberg field. You guys are aware that we did a swap with Noble to allow each other to core up and gain incremental efficiencies within that. We are putting a lot of investment in here. We have a 13-rig program going on, including a couple of spudders that we are also using. Big development program, 350 wells; other way of thinking about it is short equivalents. This is a combination of short laterals, which are essentially a section and mid-lateral section that have long laterals, two sections. This would be the equivalent of 450 plus shorts, so there is a lot of drilling going on, lots of longer laterals turning to -- particularly with this core-up that we are now able to do, with large working interest position. We are chasing a really large target. You just do the math, the things between 1 billion and 1.5 billion barrels of resources that will eventually prove up.

This is also not -- I think to put into context, there is no speculative resource in this area. There is over 5,000 vertical wells. So there is not a geological risk here. I mean, we know what the geology is. It's a matter of weaving these horizontal wells into these undepleted, very tight rock and using horizontal technology and fracking to get this oil out. So this is very little risk. These are barrels that land on our books in the coming years.

I hope you saw in the first quarter, if you took a look at the Wattenberg, particularly a big jump from the fourth quarter of 2013 to the first quarter of 2014. That was in spite of some pretty harsh weather; and the reason that is, is because in the last half to three quarters of 2013, we'd essentially hit the capacity of our gas gathering system to move new gas. So we are in a substitution again. We take a new well on, the new horizontal wells are oilier than the old vertical wells, so we were in a substitution game, and all you were seeing was oil production growing, you weren't seeing our top line growing.

With turning on the Lancaster plant in the first quarter, as well as putting additional compression resources, this thing is starting to unload. We are now ahead of the drilling curve, with infrastructure. So I think there is some really nice growth potential coming in Wattenberg throughout this year, and I think the first quarter is indicative of the opportunity that's in front of us, and the other thing that we have done this year, is we spread out a little bit. We have been very concentrated up in that Northeast corner, where you see all the reddened horizontal wells. We took a move to separate our programs, so we have two campaigns running simultaneously, and got us out of some of the sand mops [ph] issues that we were dealing with, and that southwestern side was an area where we drilled some wells two-three years ago. They were really high performing wells. We have now put a bunch of wells into that area, and they look spectacular. So we are really excited.

So the combination of turning on Lancaster, getting the compression moving and spreading out where we can turn these wells to sell is a lot quicker has really paid off in the first quarter, and I think it will continue to do so.

Now the other thing I think is really important to note is, we still hold a very nice option and a lot of the area around here under other operators through our ownership in the land grant. The economics of that land grant increment is shown in the bottom right. This is a lot of value that we get from other's working really hard, and we are really happy for that. We love this mailbox money, and it’s a nice steady stream for us, just due to our legacy ownership and that UPR land grant.

The Eagle Ford is another marquee asset that we have; we were one of the first movers down here. We are set up in the big ranch country down in the Dimmit County; and this thing has been fantastic for us. We now have about a thousand wells drilled, just over a thousand wells drilled. We are averaging a new well down line one per day, and that's our target at Wattenberg as well, so we have a nice rhythm about this. We have a lot of locations left. You can see where we are developed here. We have really been focused right in the middle. Now we are moving south a little bit and east, and we have some really nice results, they continue to come in and see the sales growth that you're seeing that's indicative of the quality of the wells that we are drilling. This thing is on a really nice exponential growth rate.

We are in the volatile oil window here, where we have really good energy. We produce -- our oil products produce between 45 and 55 degree gravity crude. Our blended average is in the low 50, so we have a nice market for them. We have built this thing -- we have set it up from the start to take advantage of economies of scale, so its not sort of only individual well battery basis, this thing is integrated. It gives us the capacity to turn these wells on very quick and reutilize that infrastructure over and over again, as wells decline off, we put new wells in its space, and that has been a tremendous advantage for us, so we can get these things turning very quickly.

Our drilling team here, I mean, it has been phenomenal to watch this thing. It has been, in my [indiscernible] have been the most impressive drilling performance I have ever seen. We started out here, and wells have taken north of 30 days, and now we are drilling wells or record wells sub five days, and to think about drilling something into the 14,000, 15,000 foot range in five days is just -- its incredible.

They almost got good, because you got to keep up with them now, and they have just -- it has been just stunning to watch and most of our peers are really looking at this, and this is what we need to do, because it is truly remarkable performance, its very good use of your capital, knocking these assets out in that kind of timeframe, but also gives us the opportunity, should we want to use it to tighten up because the drilling has been so inexpensive here, to tighten up our spacing, we continue to look at that.

Right now we feel like we are optimized, but we always have that option to continue to tighten up, and we are showing you on this graphic, where we are going to be playing this year. All these areas are in really high EURs, high IP type activity, so good economics going forward.

The Delaware Basin, and its something we started talking about here recently. This has been a jewel, it has been hidden out there. We had some offset activity that gave us the hand on the optionality that we might have. We have gone in here and drilled about 10 wells throughout our -- looked at them real hard, better standard exploration jobs on them, and we got some really good wells. So we are in the process now. If you look into this, we have a derisk area in the southeast side of it.

We have four rigs in there doing development. We also have four rigs doing, what we call exploitation, testing their ground to the west and north. Industries moved into that area as well, so we are getting a lot of new information. We are in the midst of trades. I think what you will see out here, as you will see the EURs go up, the density come down, we are just tired and tired of spacing. My sense is the Wolfcamp, in general, likes -- it likes these bigger fracs. It likes tighter cluster spacings. It needs to be stimulated really hard. Its predominantly. It gives gas here as it goes to the Northwest. We have been playing mostly in the southeast but move in that direction, so you get a lot of energy in your EUR stack base. There is four different benches. We predominantly play, what we call the upper A, almost all of our wells, 90% plus of our wells are in the upper A. We are starting to move down into those benches, and look at the staggered developments with multi-wells, multi-benches on any one pan, so you will see us continue to drill more and more on a section basis.

In my career, in the U.S. Onshore, only been at it for 32 years, so I might have missed something. But this is more oil in place than any other shale I have seen. Its just an incredible accumulation of oil. We are very fortunate to be positioned right down the axis of the basin, which is the thickest Wolfcamp, and also oftentimes, the highest quality Wolfcamp, from a PNP perspective, [indiscernible] perspective. So we have got some really good rock here. It’s a little deeper, we are working on our economics to make sure we get the maximum value out of these things, because we are drilling through some old depleted stuff, we are drilling some tough drilling. So you are seeing us start that learning curve, its taking the same shape as the Maverick and the Wattenberg before. SO our costs are coming down. We still have some ways to go to really build the economics. I think there is a huge economic upside here.

Our current plan is to drill about 10 rigs, two of those in the Bone Spring, eight in the Wolfcamp. The reason we are at that level, is that's about what our infrastructure expansion capacity looks like. I think we are going to get tight on infrastructure at some points. But you can sure see the swing up in that production case, and I see that going on, as long as we can stay out ahead of it, we have got some big decisions this year with planned expansions and interbuild flow [ph] line expansions, all that kind of things are going to have to happen here in the next year or two, so we can keep ahead of this thing. But this is an incredible opportunity, and I think something that Anadarko will be leaning on for quite some time.

So if you look across the globe and in the Gulf of Mexico, these are the projects that we have cued up. This has been a nice pipeline, it has been working for us for quite some time. We went through Jubilee, Caesar/Tonga, El Merk's online, Lucius is coming up later this year; Heidelberg following that. So there has been a nice pipeline in these sort of step function changes. The cool thing about most of these, is they have been dominated by all -- way high percentage oil, high margin oil. They are Brent priced, so we have enjoyed the advantage of some nice margins from all these plays. They have been very value accretive. We have taken the liberty to sell down pieces of them, so that we take some money off the table. We have reduced our capital exposure to any one of them, and it gives you guys a lot of leverage with regard to our portfolio, because we are working with some really nice interest generally, in a cash positive position.

One way to think about it, is when you take a deal like Lucius, if you were to go through the whole investment cycle, you get the cash -- the capital requirements to those kind of things and duration involved in these types of projects; and it stretches out our investment portfolio, it stretches out our time cycle with our cash on cash returns; and so we have taken this position and said look, we are going to take the development cost and unload a small position of our interest, but somebody else carried that cost, who was in need of projects like these high quality projects, and we essentially have small investments. We come out the other end of this thing. We have a substantial material position in world class fields for very low costs, and that's what you're going to see happen in Lucius and Heidelberg.

The chart on the bottom is indicative of the cash flow capacity of these higher margin fields. So this has been a really sweet position. If you were to just build the business model, they should see a very-very high return model.

The Gulf of Mexico, we are working around -- I think the exciting thing here is we are in a couple of different prospect ideas. We are working at the Shenandoah basin, that's one of the best looking logs I have seen in a long time; big, big, 1000-foot pipe [indiscernible]. We got three different fields. We are the one company that's in all three of them, so a really good idea of what's going on in the basin. We have talked about Lucius and Heidelberg, those are -- Lucius coming on later this year, and Heidelberg following that.

I like what we are doing here, we have some really nice last seen developments, and we are also in the lower tertiary in board a bit, where you see better fluid properties as well as better reservoir properties. So our expectations of flow here are strong and we are exploring that same idea, as Far West's Nansen and then continuing our investments in and around the Shenandoah basin, pushing it towards sanction soon. The guys on our exploration team have just done a fantastic job putting us in this position and great track record of success for those folks and [indiscernible].

So we also found a little gas field over in Mozambique, and we are looking over there, this is one of the top 10 conventional gas plants in the world ever. So a huge gas resource, just sort of mind-boggling gas resource. Its very concentrated on our position. We have made a number of discoveries and have done a great job delineating this thing. We are in a good position to push it forward. We have obtained the reserve certification necessary for a two train development and there is a reserve for plenty of trains following that as well.

We have continued to put this out to market, we have had some more market receptivity. So we have put some HOAs in place to move this thing forward. We are in the final throes of getting the contractual framework guided up with the government, so we can go out for project enhancing, and the whole thing is just -- it has got great momentum. It’s a complicated piece of business, because of where its at. There is a unionization issue that we got to work through. There is a lot of things that goes on, but my sense is that its moving forward.

We are excited about it, and the reservoir is just sort off the chart's good. Its definitely one of the premier gas assets in the world, and on the bottom right, you can see if we were just to go through with this development, you take Mozambique from not being on the map from an LNG perspective to a top three or four producer very quickly. So that's indicative of the quality of the asset, and lot of excitement around this thing. I think the recent [indiscernible] we did as well is fairly indicative of the value that we see in this and we'd love to see that come through in our stock price.

Ghana is a mega project we recently completed and now we have sort of a phase two associated with it, which is a TEN development off to the west. Ghana has been a great piece of business. We got off to a shaky start. We had some scaling and skin problems, and we told you that it was not a reservoir issue. It was essentially a completion learning. We got that sorted out.

This thing has been running right on top of nameplate. We have never actually hit the 120 mark for any long duration. We are gas constrained, that's about to get sorted out, and the reservoir is performing just as we had hoped it would perform. Big reservoir option here, and right now its all oil. We have seen months where this thing is $100 EBITDA per barrel, so great margins, low operating costs, and these are all flowing wells, all big wells as well. So that's something very exciting. We are excited about the offset development in the adjacent block to the west, and that project has been sanctioned, it is now starting to move forward. So another really strong asset, good logs, good flow parameters, [indiscernible] with higher rates, so its stacking up, it’s a real nice project that's called TEN.

And then you move into North Africa out in our Sahara development. We have now successfully walked through the development of El Merk and it has been really nice. We got it online. The only thing we are lacking right now is, we had two old trains, both of those are now flowing. We are now working on the NGL development and still have a little bit to go on it, but the project -- the Algerian project, although its now over 10 years old, its actually producing at record rates. So it has been a great add to our company, and it has been really exciting to watch the thing finally come online.

So one thing we still pride ourselves on is being one of the top flight exploration companies. These folks have done a fantastic job, as I mentioned earlier, they found us a bunch of oil and gas. They have about 25 gross wells that we are going to be drilling this year. New ideas, as well as expansion of existing ideas, lot of work going on in Mozambique, lot of work going on in the Gulf of Mexico, so really prolific, high potential developments in our basins that they are exploring; and they continue to capture new ideas.

We continue to lead the industry into new areas, some of which is going to be successful, as Mozambique was. So we are excited about it, and when we are successful with it, you see us try to accelerate it; and I think I just [indiscernible] one of the groups just a few minutes ago. I think its pretty unusual to sit in the spot here with massive LNG development ahead of us. Most people think of those as huge gas sinks, capital sinks, and then the prices down the road.

I am happy to sit here in front of you and tell you that we have already gone into the positive position with our cash flow in Mozambique and we are going to have 26.5% in one of the world's largest developments, and we are in a cash flow positive position already. And I think that's a testament to how we think about these things, how we want to utilize our equity and turn capital, turn returns and get value out of these projects as quickly as we possibly can, and that mindset is prevalent throughout Anadarko, regardless of whether its drilling these multi-well pads in Wattenberg, or putting an LNG project together in Mozambique; to me that's just hard to beat.

So getting close to wrapping up here, this is what our value proposition is. We are working on adding continual R&D process to our exploration program, bunch of barrels, bunch of opportunity in that, and we have invested about $9 billion in our exploration program, and we have already monetized $10 billion of that. So our exploration program, which most people view as a long term return type of thing, it takes long time to get your cash out. If you look at the period since 2004, we are cash flow positive in our exploration program, and I think that's an unrecognized strength of our company and what's left even in a cash flow positive position is a huge resource base, and those current production, you could see that's the stack chart on the bottom right, we have built a business that's 250,000 barrels a day from free cash flow investing business line. So, heck of a job guys.

So final slide, this is the total company, the value creation model we call it. We are going to continue to grow. We have got transparency in that growth. What you are seeing from us is, transferring that growth from mostly gas driven back five years ago to mostly oil driven today. We are happy with that. The projects that we are investing in are all oil driven, whether its onshore or out in the Gulf of Mexico or internationally, we are really proud of our capital efficiency. You saw what your wedge adds are.

If you do the math on our SEC TEN values and look at the capital invested against the incremental value add, it’s a tremendous business and many of the benchmarking will tell you that we are sitting near or at the top of that -- the investment efficiency model. We have also seen where many folks have said, if you look at our shale position or onshore position, we have the highest value add of many of the companies around. So we work on value every day for you guys, I mean, that's what we are all about.

Project management continues to help us out. We take those learnings, whether its in the Gulf of Mexico on the shale development or international development, our project team is together and they work these things. We have a nice pipeline, new project managers and project practices that continue to evolve and make us better, and we have talked about our exploration team, and those guys are good. And I hope you see that optionality in our portfolio, the transparency in our portfolio; because I think its one thing to have a surging growth. I think its another thing to say, we can have a sustainable growth, and I believe with the portfolio that we have and the places that we are working, the track record that we have shown you. We told you what we are going to do five years ago and we delivered; and there was a few things happen in between. And even with those few things happening in between, we are able to knock this out; and that's -- I think there is two reasons for that, one is our portfolio, its better than it was five years ago and its more transparent than it was five years ago, and I think we are just so blessed to have such a crew of folks that are so dedicated to our company committed to adding value and that combination is magical than Anadarko.

That's me done. Appreciate your time. I hope you see that proposition and I don't know, I could probably take one question before I am out of time.

Question-and-Answer Session

William Featherston - UBS

We have time for two quick questions. Any question?

Unidentified Analyst

Hi, good morning. I just had a question on the -- yes, onshore costs. I mean, we are about to see hurt increasing optimism from the service companies on pricing in recent weeks. I guess firstly, what's your view there, your expectation on service pricing going forward? And then, its obviously not a new problem, but how will you stick to manage that? Will you look for greater term contracting or so on?

Chuck Meloy

My sense has been that its very submarket specific. There is areas that get, that find this location where you have surge in drilling, for instance the Permian. We had this big surge in drilling, and it takes time for these things to get relocated and manage. But I think if you look at the general mass balance of the service position today, there is still an opportunity with some good supply chain work to get good pricing.

There is upward pressures, because there is a lot of value being added right now in this space -- on our space. We are doing more and more work, we are seeing more and more opportunities like this big Delaware basin. I mean, that's a big new market, and I think that, we are trying to get these things get equalized out. My sense is that Anadarko's job, and the way we play in this space is -- what we want to do is be very efficient.

And so whatever color shows up, they show up, we are ready to pump and we get maximum value out of the time they are on location, and for that, we demand a price. we demand a very competitive price, because we are going to do our job to make their job easier, and I hope if you have a chance to talk to those different folks, and you ask them who were some of the more efficient operators, I hope they mention us, because I think that's where we want to be, and with that, that brings a lot of power, because they see the opportunity to show up on our location, and turn those pumps, with a very high utilization rate, and for that we want the offset compensation as well in their pricing structure.

William Featherston - UBS

Unfortunately, we have to stay on schedule and we are out of time. But hopefully, Chuck and John will be available outside, if anyone has any additional follow-up questions. Please join me in thanking Anadarko.

Chuck Meloy

Thank you. Appreciate your time.

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