Woodside to take $1.2 million write off

Company to take charge after reviewing asset value and market conditions.
By Daniel J. Graeber Follow @dan_graeber Contact the Author   |  Jan. 21, 2016 at 6:42 AM
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PERTH, Australia, Jan. 21 (UPI) -- Australian energy company Woodside Petroleum said it expects to write off up to $1.2 million from 2015 earnings, but maintained it can weather the storm.

"We continue to relentlessly focus on delivering the fundamentals of our business and are now seeing the benefits of our productivity programs flow through to our results," Woodside CEO Peter Coleman said in a statement.

Woodside is Australia's largest oil and gas company, serving as the operator of the giant Pluto liquefied natural gas project in the country. The company said it expects to produce between 86 million and 93 million barrels of oil equivalent this year, with more than 40 percent of that coming from the Pluto LNG project.

After a review of asset values and the declining situation in the crude oil markets, the company said it expected to recover a full-year 2015 impairment charge of between $1 million and $1.2 million.

Like its industry peers, the company last year moved to join forces with industry partners. Woodside in April closed on a $2.1 billion deal to acquire Canadian interests from rival Apache Corp., but pulled out of a $1.8 billion deal to nab Oil Search Ltd., one of the main players in the LNG sector in the Asia-Pacific region.

Despite the impairment and the pressure from crude oil prices, Woodside said it plans to invest about $1.9 billion on exploration and production in 2016.

"The recent significant fall in oil and gas prices has highlighted the quality of our low cost production and approach to balance sheet risk management," Coleman said.

Shares in Woodside (ASK:WPL) were down around 1.5 percent after the release of the announcement.

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