Wood­side shakes off woes

Pilbara News - - News - Stu­art McKin­non

Wood­side shares rose last week on a firm­ing oil price and a pos­i­tive third quar­ter re­port, which in­cluded record pro­duc­tion at its Pluto liq­ue­fied nat­u­ral gas project and Kar­ratha Gas Plant.

The com­pany lifted pro­duc­tion by 13.5 per cent on the pre­vi­ous quar­ter to 25.2 mil­lion bar­rels of oil equiv­a­lent and raised sales rev­enue by 19.8 per cent to $988 mil­lion.

But com­pared with the pre­vi­ous cor­re­spond­ing pe­riod, the fig­ures were down 0.4 and 9 per cent re­spec­tively.

The com­pany at­trib­uted the higher pro­duc­tion fig­ure to ex­cel­lent pro­duc­tion per­for­mance across all as­sets, the re­sump­tion of full pro­duc­tion at its North West Shelf fa­cil­i­ties and the restart­ing of pro­duc­tion at the Okha float­ing pro­duc­tion, stor­age and of­fload­ing fa­cil­ity.

Wood­side chief ex­ec­u­tive Peter Cole­man said the com­pany main­tained ex­cep­tional op­er­a­tional per­for­mance dur­ing the quar­ter.

“We set a num­ber of pro­duc­tion records this quar­ter, driven by ex­cel­lent LNG capacity and re­li­a­bil­ity, which con­trib­uted to a 20 per cent quar­ter-on-quar­ter rev­enue in­crease,” he said.

“As part of man­ag­ing our debt obli­ga­tions, we se­cured $US1.2 bil­lion ($1.58 bil­lion) in fund­ing at com­pet­i­tive rates.

“We have strong sup­port from debt cap­i­tal mar­kets and gear­ing re­mains well within our tar­get range of 10 to 30 per cent.

“The agree­ments to ac­quire Cono­coPhillips’ in­ter­ests in Sene­gal and half of BHP Bil­li­ton’s in­ter­ests in the Scar­bor­ough area demon­strate Wood­side’s fo­cus on growth and lever­age our deep­wa­ter ca­pa­bil­i­ties.

“The Juli­mar project com­pleted all con­struc­tion and com­mis­sion­ing work on sched­ule and un­der bud­get in prepa­ra­tion for Wheat­stone start-up in mid-2017.

“Wheat­stone is a key com­po­nent of our near-term growth strat­egy and will con­trib­ute over 13 mil­lion bar­rels of oil equiv­a­lent of an­nual pro­duc­tion once both trains are fully op­er­a­tional.”

The com­pany nar­rowed its ful­lyear pro­duc­tion guid­ance to 92 mil­lion to 95 mil­lion bar­rels of oil equiv­a­lent. The com­pany said ful­lyear 2017 pro­duc­tion guid­ance would be given in its fourth quar­ter re­port.

On Mon­day morn­ing, Brent crude was trad­ing at $US51.60 a bar­rel, a rise of more than 7 per cent since the start of the year.

Wood­side shares were trad­ing at $29.13 on Mon­day morn­ing, up from a low this year of $25.77 on June 24.

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