Woodside Fiscal Year Net Profit Down 4%; Finds Gas For Pluto Expansion
First Published Tuesday, 21st February 2012 11:42 pm - © 2012 Dow Jones
SYDNEY -(Dow Jones)- Woodside Petroleum Ltd. (WPL.AU), Australia's largest standalone oil and gas producer by output, reported Wednesday a 4.3% fall in annual net profit due to one-off costs and gains from assets sales a year earlier.
The Perth-based company said net profit for the year to Dec. 31 fell to US$1.51 billion from US$1.58 billion in 2010, though on an underlying basis profit jumped 17% reflecting higher prices for it oil and gas.
Underlying profit, a more closely watched measure that smoothes out one-off items, rose to US$1.66 billion, just missing the US$1.69 billion average of 10 analysts' forecasts compiled by Dow Jones Newswires. Several brokers said an analysts' consensus figure collected by the company was US$1.67 billion.
Woodside said it expects "no material change" to the March target start-up date of its A$14.9 billion Pluto liquefied natural gas project in Western Australia state.
It also revealed some success in its drilling campaign to support a possible expansion of Pluto. Woodside said the Ragnar-1 well intersected 190 meters of gross gas and it intends to drill another three wells in the current campaign.
Woodside said it's still talking to potential third-party gas suppliers to an expanded Pluto.
It didn't have any material new developments to report on its proposed Browse and Sunrise LNG ventures.