Anadarko chief says Gulf slowdown won't hurt reserves

NEW YORK, Nov 12 (Reuters) - The slowdown in oil and gas drilling in the Gulf of Mexico will not hurt Anadarko Petroleum's plans to book new reserves, and the company could move spending to other regions, Chief Executive Officer James Hackett said on Friday, The company, a minority owner of BP Plc's Macondo well that blew out earlier this year, has about $200 million of uncommitted spending per year for exploration or appraisal wells in the Gulf. "We're prepared ... to have that be delayed for some time. It doesn't have any impact before 2014," Hackett told a Bank of America Merrill Lynch investors conference. The company, one of the largest lease holders in the Gulf of Mexico with more than 3 million acres, could book reserves from its Lucius project there as early as 2012 or 2013, Hackett said, or it could push ahead with wells on land in the United States or overseas. "We feel good about being able to reallocate that spending to other places," Hackett said. "We have places to go get those reserves and get those bookings overseas." A drilling moratorium in the Gulf of Mexico implemented after the BP well disaster was lifted in October, but the restart of activity is expected to drag as oil and gas companies deal with new permitting rules in deepwater areas. The company shifted about $100 million in spending to more liquids-oriented fields onshore in the United States this year because of the Gulf moratorium. Anadarko has announced a string of finds in the waters off West Africa, and also has projects in Brazil, as well as onshore fields in North America. Anadarko shares were down 2.9 percent at $63.35 in early trade on the New York Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Matt Daily, editing by Dave Zimmerman) Keywords: ANADARKO/ (; Reuters Messaging:; +1 646 223 6121) COPYRIGHT Copyright Thomson Reuters 2010. All rights reserved.

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