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Woodside returns dip on Pluto LNG issues, low prices

Woodside Petroleum has been impacted by an extension to planned maintenance at the Pluto liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility offshore Western Australia and lower-than-expected market prices.

Pluto was shut down for planned maintenance in June, but this period had to be extended by nearly three weeks to the end of the month due to unexpected problems with the plant’s mixed refrigerant compressor. 

The company’s total revenue for the second financial quarter of 2019 has fallen to $US836 million ($1.19 billion) from the previous quarter’s $US1.424 billion, a 41 per cent drop.

Its sales revenue accounted for $US738 million of the $US836 million figure, down from $US1.22 billion in sales revenue posted in the previous quarter (a 32 per cent drop).

The company’s production also fell to 17.3 million barrels of oil equivalent from 22.1 million barrels a year earlier.

This represented Woodside’s first drop in sales revenue since the June 2018 quarter, where the company suffered a smaller dip of $87 million on the previous quarter.

“Production and sales revenue were lower compared with the previous quarter due to the major turnaround at Pluto LNG,” Woodside chief executive officer Peter Coleman said.

“We delivered strong LNG production from both North West Shelf, where we have optimised performance of the LNG trains, and Wheatstone LNG, which achieved record daily LNG production.”

Woodside also started commissioning at the $US1.9 billion Greater Enfield oil project offshore Western Australia in the quarter.

Greater Enfield is set up as a joint venture between Woodside (60 per cent) and Mitsui, one of Japan’s seven major sogo shosha (trading companies).

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