Woodside Petroleum (ASX:WPL)
Historical Stock Chart
3 Months : From Dec 2018 to Mar 2019
By Robb M. Stewart
MELBOURNE, Australia--Woodside Petroleum Ltd. (WPL.AU) logged a jump in sales revenue for the final quarter of last year, driven by a lift in liquefied natural gas volumes and higher prices.
Still, even as the Australian energy company pushes ahead with a number of oil and gas projects, its production forecast for the new year spans a modest fall to a slight increase.
Woodside on Thursday reported production for the fourth quarter of 24.1 million barrels of oil equivalent, a 4.3% increase on the prior three months and a rise of 9.8% on a year earlier. That helped drive annual output up 8.3% to 91.4 million barrels and revenue for the year 32% to US$5.24 billion from US$3.98 billion in 2017.
The bulk of Woodside's profit comes from LNG operations in Western Australia, where it runs the North West Shelf project that has been running since 1984 and the Pluto LNG plant that began producing in 2012. The company has also benefited from better-than-expected output from Chevron Corp.'s (CVX) Wheatstone liquefied natural gas venture in Western Australia, which began producing in 2017 and began output from a second production line last June.
Woodside said it expected production of between 88 million and 94 million barrels this year, which would mark somewhere between a fall of 3.9% to a rise of 2.8%.
In recent years, Woodside has focused on rebuilding its resource base, including a US$2.8 billion deal in 2015 with Apache Corp. that included a 13% stake in the Wheatstone project and a US$350 million deal to buy ConocoPhillips's (COP) interest in three promising oil discoveries off Senegal.
Early last year, Woodside snapped up Exxon Mobil Corp.'s (XOM) stake in the Scarborough natural-gas field off Western Australia for up to US$744 million, consolidating its hold on a remote but promising source of gas for its LNG operations. This week, the Australian company gave out four contracts for engineering-design work on the proposed project as it tracks toward a final investment decision next year that could see gas from Scarborough connected from offshore facilities through an extensive pipeline to an expanded LNG facility at the onshore Pluto plant.
The company also is working on a preliminary deal agreed in the last quarter with its partners that would see natural gas from the undeveloped Browse field off Western Australia piped through the North West Shelf's Karratha gas plant.
And in Senegal, the company said it had begun early engineering design work for the proposed first phase of development of the SNE field, after the country's government approved the environmental and social-impact assessment.
Write to Robb M. Stewart at firstname.lastname@example.org
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
January 16, 2019 17:53 ET (22:53 GMT)
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