Woodside reports lower revenue, production in Q4

Australian LNG player Woodside reported lower revenue and production in the fourth quarter of the last year compared to the same period in 2022, while construction continues to progress on the second Pluto LNG train.

Woodside said its sales revenue dropped 35 percent year-on-year to $3.35 billion but it rose 3 percent compared to $3.26 billion in the prior quarter.

The Perth-based firm, which is a top 10 global independent energy company by hydrocarbon production after the completion of the merger with BHP’s oil and gas business, reported sales volume of 49.5 MMboe.

This compares to 53.3 MMboe in the prior quarter and 52.2 MMboe in the corresponding quarter.

In addition, production of 48.1 MMboe dropped 7 percent year-on-year and it was slightly up compared to 47.8 MMboe in the prior quarter.

Woodside achieved record full-year 2023 production of 187.2 MMboe (513 Mboe/day), at the top end of production guidance of 183 – 188 MMboe.

The company’s full-year 2024 production guidance is 185 – 195 MMboe (505 – 533 Mboe/day).

Woodside said its average LNG produced price reached $11.5 per MMBtu in the the fourth quarter, compared to $10.3 per MMBtu in the prior quarter and $20.3 per MMBtu in the same quarter in 2022.

These realized prices include the impact of periodic adjustments reflecting the arrangements governing Wheatstone LNG sales, the firm said.

LNG traded price, which excludes any additional benefit attributed to produced LNG through third-party trading activities, was at $11.9 per MMBtu in the fourth quarter.

This compares with $8.2 per MMBtu in the third quarter and $24.2 per MMBtu in the same quarter in 2022.

Woodside’s CEO, Meg O’Neill, said production in the fourth quarter “remained strong”, taking 2023 full-year production to a record.

“Our expanded global portfolio delivered record production in 2023. Fourth quarter production reflected the completion of planned turnaround and maintenance activities at the North West Shelf and Shenzi. Pluto LNG also maintained its strong production performance, again achieving 99.9 percent reliability during the period,” she said.

Second Pluto LNG train

In November 2021, Woodside took a final investment decision on the Scarborough and Pluto LNG Train 2 developments and the project was 46 percent complete as of the end of the third quarter last year.

The project also includes new domestic gas facilities and modifications to the first train.

Woodside’s Pluto LNG terminal currently has one train with a capacity of 4.9 mtpa and Woodside and US engineering and construction firm Bechtel started building the second Pluto train in 2022.

Pluto Train 2 will get gas from the Scarborough gas field, located about 375 km off the coast of Western Australia, through a new trunkline long about 430 km.

Woodside said in the fourth quarter report that the Scarborough and Pluto Train 2 project was 55 percent complete.

Site construction works for Pluto Train 2 are progressing, and Woodside expects to receive the first module from Indonesia at the project site in Dampier in the first quarter of 2024.

“Fabrication of six of the 51 modules for Pluto Train 2 has been completed and work on another 38 is underway. We remain on track for targeted first LNG cargo in 2026,” O’Neill said.

Santos merger

In December, Woodside and Santos confirmed that the two firms are in discussions regarding a potential merger.

The combination of the two firms would create a merged energy and LNG giant with a market value of about A$80 billion ($52.9 billion).

“The talks are still at an early stage and there is no certainty that the transaction will progress,” O’Neill said.

“Woodside will be disciplined, conduct thorough due diligence, and will only pursue a transaction that is value-accretive for shareholders,” she said.

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