Apache Corp., the largest independent U.S. oil and natural-gas producer by market value, said its production operations in Egypt are unaffected by political unrest in the country.
Apache, which has its biggest acreage position in the North African nation, fell as much as 6.6 percent as protesters and security forces clashed for a third day. Government opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei returned to Cairo and said he will join demonstrators in the capital tomorrow for more protests inspired by a popular revolt that toppled Tunisia’s leader Jan 14.
Apache has more than 11 million gross acres in Egypt, according to the company’s website, and some 30 percent of the company’s 2009 production revenue was based in the nation. Apache’s operations aren’t near the locations that are experiencing protests, said Philip Dodge, an analyst at Tuohy Brothers in New York.
Apache declined $5.77, or 4.7 percent, to $116.33 as of 4 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading.
“It’s just a concern over the government situation in Egypt and ultimately whether a new regime comes in and further nationalizes the resources,” said Jim Byrne, an analyst at BMO Capital Markets in Calgary who has a “market perform” rating on Apache shares and owns none.
Apache continues to monitor developments in Egypt as they happen, Patrick Cassidy, a spokesman for Houston-based Apache, said today in a telephone interview. He said the production of oil and gas isn’t affected by current events in the country.
Even if the government were to change, Dodge said, anyone running the country would want to continue to work with Apache as a partner to produce petroleum.
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