Anadarko CEO: Meeting with Obama Favorable for Gas Producers

HOUSTON (Dow Jones), Feb. 2, 2010

Anadarko Petroleum Corp.'s (APC) Chief Executive said Tuesday that a meeting last week with President Barack Obama was "productive" for U.S. natural gas producers, and that a budget proposal that includes cuts in tax benefits for the oil industry is unlikely to pass in its current form.

"There is some practicality with regard to what [the President] just came out with," said Jim Hackett in a conference call with analysts.

Hackett added that the administration's budget proposal is designed to appeal to the Democratic constituency, but he added that he is "pretty sure it won't come out the way it has been proposed."

The Obama administration proposed this week a fiscal-year 2011 budget that some said targets the fossil-fuel industry, aiming to cut around $39 billion in tax benefits over the next decade, amid plans to bolster the nuclear and renewable energy sectors.

Hackett, who along with other oil industry executives had lunch with President Obama last week, said that two important things for the oil and gas sector came out of the meeting. One was the mention of offshore oil and gas leasing during the President's State of Union address last Wednesday. The other was his comments about the need to do more for natural gas during the meeting with Republican representatives.

"It was the first time that natural gas was mentioned separately by the president," Hackett. "I think the meeting was nothing but productive."

In a separate issue, Hackett also confirmed the Jubilee oil discovery offshore Ghana remains on schedule to start production later this year. The company has said before it will start production in the fourth quarter of 2010.

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