Independence Gas Hub Near 1/3 Capacity in August - Anadarko VP

HOUSTON, (Dow Jones Newswires), Jul 31, 2007 (Dow Jones Commodities News)

The Independence natural gas hub in the Gulf of Mexico will double its current output in August, but will be shut down more than it will be producing, said Charles Meloy, senior vice president for worldwide operations at Andarko Petroleum Corp. (APC).

The platform is currently producing between 140 and 150 million cubic feet of gas a day, and will add about that much next month, when three new wells begin service, Meloy said in a conference call with analysts. That would bring the output to nearly 300 million cubic feet a day, or nearly a third of eventual capacity.

In order to bring on the wells, Anadarko will need to temporarily halt production, with operating time at "less than 50% for August," he said.

Anadarko will start the remaining wells in September and October, with the goal of reaching the hub's capacity of 1 billion cubic feet a day by the end of the year.

The wells brought on in August will be in the Atlas and Atlas Northwest fields.

At full capacity, Independence could produce as much as 10% of gas in the Gulf of Mexico, analysts say. The platform is located about 123 miles southeast of Biloxi, Miss.

The hub is run by the Atwater Valley Producers Group, which consists of Anadarko Petroleum Corp. (APC), Devon Energy Corp. (DVN), Eni S.p.A. (E) and Norsk Hydro ASA (NHY), and the owners of Independence Hub Enterprise Products Partners LP and Helix Energy Solutions Group Inc. (HLX).

Copyright (c) 2007 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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