Anadarko Mozambique Sale to Speed Company’s U.S. Shale Projects

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Independent oil and gas firm Anadarko Petroleum Corp. (NYSE: APC) on Sunday announced the sale of a 10% stake in a natural gas development block offshore of Mozambique to India’s state-controlled energy company ONGC Videsh for $2.64 billion in cash. Anadarko now owns 26.5% working interest in the project and is the operator.

The most interesting thing about this transaction is what Anadarko plans to do with the cash it gets from ONGC. The company said it plans to use the proceeds from the sale to “accelerate” development in its U.S. shale oil and liquids plays.

Anadarko is building its cash hoard, which totaled nearly $4.6 billion at the end of June, in order to develop its liquids plays in the United States. We noted last week in our report on companies spending the most to find oil that Anadarko plans to spend $5.5 billion this year to boost its U.S. oil production. This asset sale should help accomplish that, as well as giving the company some room to raise its anemic 0.8% dividend yield.

Analysts have put a consensus price target of $111 on Anadarko’s stock, which is roughly 23% higher than Friday’s closing price and about 20% higher than the 52-week high. Shares are trading up 3.3% in the premarket on Monday, at $92.79 in a 52-week range of $65.82 to $92.79.