Woodside to Boost Profit on Currency Gains

Submitted by Jim Thesiger on 22 January, 2010 - 17:10

Australia based Woodside Petroleum (WPL) has declared that its revenue for the year 2009 has fallen by as much as 27 percent because of the low gas and oil prices, and due to reduction in natural resources and unplanned outages at some of the Australian operations of the company that kept output at a lower end of expectations. However, Woodside also added that financial results for the year 2009 would be boosted by gains through the foreign exchange in combination with the impairment charges of the Libyan assets- something that would add $530 million to its 2009 profit. Woodside stated that the Stybarrow oilfield which is offshore from Western Australia would remain closed for 35 days for maintenance this year and the Vincent oil platform won’t be operational till the second quarter of the year as it got damaged by fire on 2009. The outages are likely to have negative impact over the revenue of Woodside for the present quarter as these events will reduce oil production.

However, the liquefied natural gas growth strategy of Woodside is being considered vital for many investors. The company didn’t come up with any significant update on Friday apart from announcing timetables for Sunrise and Browse along with an extension of the Pluto project. Revenue for the fourth quarter fell by 23 percent in comparison with the figures of the earlier corresponding period. According to Woodside, the decrease in Q$ revenue was due to reduced production and unfavorable movements of the currency. Due to the shut down of Vincent and reduced natural resources at Gulf of Mexico and Stybarrow yearly oil, condensate and gas production remained slightly below the guidance of Woodside.

It is to be mentioned that Woodside didn’t quote the production guidance for the year 2010. The company estimated its output to remain within the range of 70m and 75m boe for the year 2010 with the drop from the year 2009 which was partly caused due to the sale of Otway Gas project.