Woodside sales revenue plunges over 20%

Woodside Petroleum has posted a more than 20 per cent fall in first-quarter sales revenue, hurt by reduced trading activity and lower unit prices for its oil and natural gas production.

Its average sales prices for its products during the quarter amounted to $US45 per barrels of oil equivalent (boe), more than $US10 weaker than a year earlier.

Oversupply and a slump in gas demand amid restrictions across several countries due to the coronavirus pandemic weighed on liquefied natural gas prices over the quarter.

Last month, Woodside slashed its planned spending for fiscal 2020 by about $US2 billion ($A3.2 billion) and deferred key projects to stave off the impact from the pandemic and low oil prices.

The country’s top independent gas producer said its planned investment spending for 2020 would now be between $US1.70 billion and $US1.90 billion.

The final investment decision for the company’s $US11 billion Scarborough project and the Pluto LNG expansion were delayed to 2021 from the initial target of mid-2020, it said in March.

An investment decision on the $US20.5 billion Browse project has also been deferred to an unspecified date, it said.

The company has said these projects are essential in driving its planned 6.0 per cent growth in output every year through 2028.

For 2020, the Perth-based firm stood by its earlier output forecast of between 97 million and 103 million boe.

The company recorded sales revenue of $US1.08 billion for the quarter ended March 31, down from $US1.36 billion a year earlier.

Production for the quarter amounted to 24.2 million boe, up from 21.7 million boe a year earlier.

The production was slightly below a UBS estimate of 24.5 million boe.

Woodside shares were $21.22 before the start of trade on Thursday and more than 62 per cent lower in 2020 against a 18.21 per cent downturn for the wider ASX/200.

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