Wheatstone Delays Hit Woodside

By Glenn Dyer | More Articles by Glenn Dyer

A two month delay to the start up of the huge Wheatstone LNG project off the northwest WA coast has seen Woodside trim the upper end of its production forecast for 2017 with a quarter to go.

First production from Wheastone, which is operated by Chevron, was earlier this month on October 9; instead of the projected August target used by Woodside previously.

That means Woodside now expects to produce between 84 and 86 million barrels of oil equivalent (mmboe) during calendar 2017, slightly down on its previous forecast of between 84 and 90mmboe.

And while production in three months to September 30 fell slightly on the previous quarter to 20.3mmboe, but Woodside hit daily, weekly and monthly production records at its Pluto LNG project.

“The period marked further strong operational performance from Pluto LNG,” Woodside CEO Peter Coleman said in yesterday’s third quarter production and sales report.

"For the second quarter in succession, Pluto achieved a number of production records, with production in July 3 per cent higher than the previous high set in the same month of last year," he said.

Sales revenue rose 5% from $867 million in the second quarter to $914 million, thanks to better volumes, but that was down 7% from a year ago because of lower energy prices.

“In October, Woodside realised a major component of our near-term growth strategy with the start of LNG production at Wheatstone, which will contribute more than 13 MMboe of annual production once its two LNG trains and domestic gas plant are fully operational,” Mr Coleman said in the report.

“Persephone was delivered A$355 million below the expected cost of A$1.2 billion, representing an outstanding achievement by the project team.

Woodside shares fell 1.8% to $29.25.

Glenn Dyer

About Glenn Dyer

Glenn Dyer has been a finance journalist and TV producer for more than 40 years. He has worked at Maxwell Newton Publications, Queensland Newspapers, AAP, The Australian Financial Review, The Nine Network and Crikey.

View more articles by Glenn Dyer →