Woodside Petroleum’s total full-year production has dropped 11.1 per cent, but the company expects a significant increase in liquefied natural gas (LNG) output throughout 2018.
The energy giant on Thursday said it had produced 21.9 million barrels of oil equivalent (MMboe) in the fourth quarter, down to the prior corresponding period’s 23.8 MMboe, but up on the September quarter’s 20.3 MMboe.
Fourth-quarter revenue of $US939 million ($A1.3 billion) was also lower than the prior corresponding period, by 6.9 per cent, but up marginally on the previous quarter.
Over the full year, Woodside produced 84.4 MMboe – a fall of 11.1 per cent on the prior year, but coming just within its revised guidance range of between 84 and 86 MMboe.
But, the company says, output this year should increase to between 85 and 90 MMboe.
Woodside cut the top end of its 2017 full-year guidance in October – from 90 MMboe to 86MMboe – after a delay in the start of its second Wheatstone liquefied natural gas (LNG) train.
Chief executive Peter Coleman on Thursday said the fourth quarter results were underscored by a strong operational performance at Western Australia’s Pluto LNG project and the first shipment from the Wheatstone LNG train.
“We anticipate that the stronger oil prices experienced in the fourth quarter will flow through to higher realised LNG prices in the first quarter of 2018,” Mr Coleman said.
“Looking ahead to 2018, we can expect a significant increase in annual LNG production and we anticipate we will be cash flow neutral at $US35 a barrel.”
Woodside also said 2018 investment spending would be between $US1.55 billion and $US1.6 billion, with investment in the Greater Enfield project expected to increase as subsea installation and drilling activities start, while spending on Wheatstone will be reduced.
Shares in Woodside closed down 26 cents, or 0.8 per cent, at $2.44.