HOUSTON (AP) _ Anadarko Petroleum Corp. on Tuesday increased its production target for 2008 as the oil producer takes advantage of higher-than-expected commodity prices.
The Houston company expects production between 207 million and 212 million barrels of oil equivalent, up from the previous range of 205 million to 210 million.
Anadarko boosted its capital budget by $400 million to $4.9 billion to $5.1 billion for the year. The extra money will be used to develop and produce projects in progress faster than previously planned.
"Stronger-than-anticipated commodity prices and the recently announced divestitures … have created an opportunity to increase the company's capital expenditures in 2008," Chief Executive Jim Hackett said in a statement.
The company also said it found the equivalent of 2.3 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in greater Natural Buttes in Utah, and now expects the equivalent of 9.2 trillion cubic feet of resources in the area.
SunTrust Robinson Humphrey analyst John Gerdes said the additional capital spending should help boost the value of the Anadarko's shares, and Deutsche Bank analyst Shannon Nome nudged her price target for the stock a dollar higher to $73 to reflect the potential from the additional projects.
Anadarko's announcement came one day after Chesapeake Energy Corp., one of the largest independent U.S. gas producers, boosted its production forecasts for this year and next, and announced plans to begin drilling for oil in four states.
Anadarko shares rose 46 cents to close at $63.02 Tuesday.
Copyright 2008 The Associated Press.