(MENAFN - ProactiveInvestors - Australia) Woodside Petroleum (ASX: WPL) has posted a 98% increase in full-year profit after tax to 2.98 billion on the successful start-up of Pluto LNG and higher oil production.
Underlying net profit for the year ended 31 December 2012 was also up 25% to 2.06 billion while operating cash flows were up 55% to 3.47 billion.
The start-up of Pluto LNG also allowed Australia's largest operator of oil and gas production to post record production of 84.9 million barrels of oil equivalent (MMboe), a 31% increase over the previous year, and a 30% increase in sales revenue to 6.22 billion.
Contingent Resources were down by 468.8MMboe to 1,745.2MMboe following the sale of a minority portion of its Browse fields though this may increase by about 890MMboe should the farm-in to the Leviathan field offshore Israel in 2013 be successful.
Pluto LNG has produced at better than expected rates due to high reliability in the production ramp-up phase, allowing Woodside to achieve actual capacity utilisation of 89% against the forecast of 65%.
The increased utilisation resulted in production that exceeded contracted volumes. Consequently, of the 39 cargoes delivered during 2012, seven cargoes were sold at prices higher than the normal contracted pricing formula.
Looking ahead, Woodside expects production for 2013 to be unchanged at a range of 88MMboe to 94MMboe, comprising 47% from the North West Shelf Gas facilities, 41% from Pluto LNG and 12% from other assets.
Investment expenditure is expected to be 2.6 billion due to anticipated additional expenditures associated with the Leviathan and Myanmar opportunities.