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Woodside profits down on Pluto

Thursday, 23 February 2012 | 00:00
Australia-based Woodside Energy has reported a net profit of $1.51 billion for the calendar year, down 4.3% or $68 million on the previous year due to delays in delivering the company’s Pluto project.
The company was forced to write off $165 million as a mitigation expense for customers affected by a delay in liquefied natural gas delivery from the Pluto project.
But without factoring that write-off into profit calculations, underlying net profit was at $1.65 billion, up 16.7%.
Speaking to analysts following the release of the results, company chief financial officer Lawrie Tremaine said higher selling prices were “the major driver of the profit result,” with sales revenue up 14.5% to $4.8 billion from $4.2 billion recorded in 2010.
“(It) more than offset the impact of lower sales volumes,” he said, those having fallen in line with production volumes, down 11.5% to 63.9 million barrels of oil equivalent.
The company had also encountered a higher exploration expense for the year, up 78% to $587 million following a write off $168 million in capitalised exploration from 2010.
Tremaine said the production fall had been as a result of project divestments and a worse than normal cyclone season, with less than a third of the fall coming from natural field decline.
Cyclone interruptions in the first quarter were the major cause of production falls at the Enfield, Vincent and Stybarrow oil projects, the company said.
That said, the major contributor to a fall in Woodside’s share of production from its North West Shelf project were annual shutdown work programmes at the Karratha Gas Plant, to 46.7 MMboe from 51.8 MMboe in 2010.
Despite the production falls, Woodside has set a combined production target of between 73 MMboe and 81 MMboe, of which between 56 MMboe and 60 MMboe would come from Woodside’s base business.
An additional 17 MMboe to 21 MMboe would come from the Pluto LNG foundation project – with construction on the project currently in its final stages, Woodside said.
Source: Up Stream Online
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