AAP Finance

Woodside profit falls on production delays

By AAP Newswire

Woodside Petroleum has posted a smaller half-year profit and cut its interim dividend, due mainly to an extended maintenance period at its Pluto LNG facility, which led to production delays.

Australia's biggest oil and gas company says profit was also hurt by disruptions to certain operations from Cyclone Victoria and due to its Ngujima-Yin facility in Western Australia staying offline for some time.

It reported net profit of $419 million for the half-year ended June 30 compared with $541 million a year earlier.

The prolonged maintenance at its Pluto LNG facility due to technical issues resulted in the company reporting a sharp drop in its second-quarter revenue last month, its first decline in six quarters.

For the full year, Woodside slightly lowered the upper end of its investment expenditure forecast to $1.55 billion, about 9.0 per cent less than estimated.

Woodside is at the forefront of liquefied natural gas (LNG) investments in Australia with its Scarborough and Browse projects, aiming to make final investment decisions in 2020.

Chief executive Peter Coleman said in a statement on Thursday the company was on track to achieve the target annual production of about 100 million barrels of oil equivalent in 2020.

He said the company expected first oil from the Greater Enfield reservoirs in Western Australia to flow in August 2019, adding the project would be a key contributor to Woodside's 2020 annual production goal.

With major economies such as China and Japan increasingly pledging to reduce carbon impact, demand for LNG is set to rise and Australia has been ramping up its infrastructure to meet demand.

Woodside also cut its interim dividend to 36 cents per share compared with 53 cents a year earlier.