Woodside Energy has posted record half-year net profits of $1.7bn, fuelled by high production levels from the oil and gas assets it snapped off BHP Group.
This was up from $1.6bn a year earlier, with revenues rising 27 per cent to $7.4bn over the six month period of trading.
The Australian fossil fuel producer became one of the 10 largest oil and gas independents in the world after its merger with BHP’s petroleum arm last year.
This has helped power the company to an all-time high in output levels, producing 91.3m barrels of oil equivalent.
Oil and natural gas prices remain historically elevated – well above long-term average prices – even after easing from last year’s record highs following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last year.
The company has continued to undertake work at major facilities including the $12 billion Scarborough liquefied natural gas (LNG) project – which is now 38 per cent complete.
Gas from Scarborough, which is still seeking secondary environmental approvals, will feed Woodside’s Pluto liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant, with the first LNG cargo is targeted for 2026.
The Scarborough gas field development alongside the Pluto LNG plant expansion together make up Woodside’s biggest growth project.
Woodside has also bolstered its pipeline with investment decisions for the Trion and Julimar-Brunello projects, and advanced in new energy initiatives such as solar generation and carbon capture.
However, the company did underwhelm investors with an interim dividend of 80 cents per share, falling short of consensus estimates of 86 cents.
This has seen shares in the the oil explorer tumble 1.2 per cent to A$38.0 in early trading.
Meanwhile, the company faces the prospect of industrial action from unions as soon as next month with unions on its North West shelf gas platform, with workers failing to reach an agreement with the company over conditions and pay.
This caused gas prices to spike yesterday, amid fears strike action could spread to other facilities in Australia, with workers at Chevron’s Gorgon and Wheatstone LNG facilities currently voting on whether to grant unions permission to call for strike action, with first results due by Thursday this week.
Collectively, Woodside and Chevron’s facilities supply about 10 per cent of the global LNG market.
A Woodside spokesperson told City A.M.: “Woodside continues to engage actively and constructively in the bargaining process. Positive progress is being made and the parties have reached an in-principle agreement on a number of issues that are key to the workforce.”