May 4 (Reuters) - Anadarko Petroleum Co on Monday reported a wider-than-expected quarterly loss as a crude price collapse hurt the U.S. independent oil and natural gas company's results.
Even as oil prices have tumbled about 40 percent from a peak over $100 a barrel in June, Anadarko said its oil and gas sales rose to a record in the first quarter.
"The significant cost savings, outstanding well performance and ongoing efficiency gains we achieved during the first quarter enabled Anadarko to deliver higher sales volumes for lower costs," Al Walker, Anadarko's chairman and chief executive, said in a statement.
Anadarko's operating expense per barrel oil equivalent (boe) fell 17 percent in the quarter.
Anadarko had a first-quarter loss of $3.3 billion, or $6.45 per share, compared with $2.7 billion, or $5.30 per share in the same period a year earlier when results included a $5 billion settlement related to litigation.
Excluding one-time items, the largest being a $2 billion write down of the value of some of the Houston company's assets, Anadarko had a loss of 72 cents per share.
Analysts on average had expected Anadarko to report a loss of 64 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Oil and gas output, adjusting for divestitures, averaged 920,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boed). That compares with 789,000 boed in the year-ago period.
Shale wells in Anadarko's Wattenberg field in Colorado and the Eagle Ford in Texas drove most of the output gains, the company said, even as drilling and completion costs fell.
For example in the Eagle Ford, Anadarko's average drilling cost fell 14 percent, it said.
(Reporting by Anna Driver; Editing by Chris Reese)
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