Santos shares jump on quarterly results

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Santos has reported its highest annual gas production since 2007, causing a 20c jump in share prices on yesterday’s trade.

Santos shares closed higher yesterday at $2.56, but opened at $2.76 on the back of their fourth quarter results for 2015.

The gas producer, which has only months ago shipped its first cargo from the $25 billion GLNG plant on Curtis Island, saw full year production of 57.7 mmboe, a seven per cent increase on 2014 and in line with last year’s guidance.

However, the drop in fuel prices across the board saw sales revenue come in 24 per cent below the corresponding quarter, due the average realised oil price down 33 per cent to $US44 per barrel.

With oil now down below $US27 per barrel, Santos can expect to tighten the belt even further in 2016.

GLNG Train 1 produced 544,000 tonnes of LNG in its first operating quarter, 11 cargos to date, with daily production 10 per cent above the nameplate capacity, the company said.

Santos executive chairman Peter Coates said these results were a reflection of the company’s response to the challenging oil price environment, and that the company would continue to focus on cash preservation through operational and development reviews.

Santos is well placed to withstand an extended period of low oil prices, with $4.8 billion in cash and committed undrawn debt facilities, and no material debt maturities until 2019,” Coates said.

“We are continuing to focus on reducing our capital expenditure and will build upon the significant improvements that we have made to our operating efficiency.

“PNG LNG and Darwin LNG operated at record rates during the fourth quarter, while GLNG has ramped up as expected following first LNG in late-September.