Woodside Revenue Falls on Lower LNG, Oil Prices

Source: Woodside
Source: Woodside

Woodside Energy posted a fall in first-quarter revenue on Friday compared with the previous three-month period due to lower realised oil and liquefied natural gas prices and flagged declining production volumes at some of its major projects.

Australia's largest LNG exporter said production from its Bass Strait project in Victoria and Pyrenees and Pluto LNG projects in Western Australia fell in the first quarter.

Shares of Woodside fell as much 3.1%, hitting their lowest since May 2022, while the benchmark stock index .AXJO was last down 1.5%.

Woodside, which recently ditched its $52 billion merger talks with smaller rival Santos, said revenue fell 12% from the fourth quarter of last financial year to $2.97 billion.

LNG and crude oil prices rose during the March quarter amid the Middle-East conflict and the Red Sea attacks, but were still lower than the December quarter.

Woodside's quarterly average realised price fell to $63 per barrels of oil equivalent (boe) from $67 in the prior quarter.

"Overall, a reasonable performance in the quarter, with revenue and growth projects on track but production trailing," said Adrian Prendergast, an analyst at brokerage Morgans.

Woodside reported first-quarter output of 44.9 million barrels of oil equivalent (mmboe), down 7% from the previous quarter.

"The business today is performing largely in line with expectations, but we remain concerned about the portfolio being highly concentrated and ex-growth, necessitating sizable M&A," Citi analysts said in a note.

Commissioning activities are underway at the company's Sangomar project in Senegal, where maiden oil production is expected in the middle of 2024, Woodside said.

The Perth-based company kept its full-year production estimates unchanged.

Woodside, which is advancing a slate of expansion projects, has faced calls from major shareholders to address concerns around the handling of climate risk.

"Feedback arising from our engagement with investors and stakeholders reflects the challenges and complexities of navigating the energy transition," CEO Meg O'Neill said.

(Reuters - Reporting by Rishav Chatterjee and Adwitiya Srivastava in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila and Subhranshu Sahu)

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