Woodside sees improving market as it reports loss

Australia’s Woodside says the oil and gas markets will improve in the third quarter after it reported a net loss hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Perth-based LNG firm reported a net loss of $4.06 billion in the first half mainly due to impairments.

Its adjusted net profit dropped 28 percent in the period as Covid-19 destroyed global markets pushing prices to record lows.

Woodisde logged a $303 million underlying net profit after tax, compared to $419 million a year earlier.

Despite the slide in profit, Woodside recorded its highest ever first-half production of 50.1 MMboe, a 28 percent increase year-on-year.

“We’re optimistic that the worst of the external demand and supply shocks are behind us,” Woodside chief Peter Coleman told analysts during a call.

“We’ve always said the third quarter will be important to see rebalancing of supply and demand and we’re seeing that,” he said.

As the first-half ended, oil prices started rebounding above $40 per barrel. Spot LNG prices also started climbing towards $3 per MMBtu.

According to Coleman, economic activity is “clearly increasing”, and Woodside expects prices to firm in the second half of this year and into 2021.

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