Woodside Energy posts lower revenue as Pluto outages hit production

Matt Mckenzie
The Nightly
Pluto suffered two unplanned shutdowns.
Pluto suffered two unplanned shutdowns. Credit: Woodside

Woodside Energy’s first-quarter revenue dropped 12 per cent to $US2.97 billion ($4.6b) amid problems at Pluto and a further easing of LNG prices.

Perth-based Woodside pumped 44.9 million barrels of oil equivalent for the three months to the end of March. That was down 7 per cent on the previous period.

The company said the lower volumes followed shutdowns at Pluto and Pyrenees.

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Pluto suffered an offshore trip and an electrical fault onshore, cutting reliability, while the Pyrnees floating platform sailed to Singapore for a five-yearly maintenance turnaround.

Woodside shares took a hit in early Friday trade, down 2 per cent to $28.87.

The tough operating quarter comes ahead of Woodside’s annual meeting next week, where chair Richard Goyder faces a revolt.

That’s been driven by concerns from proxy firm CGI Glass Lewis about Woodside’s engagement on climate.

But chief executive Meg O’Neill knocked that back, saying the company actively engaged with shareholders through the year.

“I think we’ve been quite upfront about our climate ambitions and plans,” she told The West Australian.

Ms O’Neill said some investors wanted Woodside to “say more” on climate, but the company would only make commitments that were “credible”.

“(We’ve been) really upfront about how difficult this is going to be,” she said.

Woodside has committed $US5b to low carbon and green energy investments but has hit roadblocks getting projects off the ground.

Finding an offtake partner would be crucial before a decision could be made on hydrogen projects H2OK and H2Perth, Ms O’Neill said.

Three major oil and gas projects are proceeding.

Sangomar, off the coast of Senegal, was 96 per cent complete and headed to commissioning.

Ms O’Neill said that was “really exciting”.

In the Pilbara, the second Pluto train was 62 per cent built and first gas was targeted for 2026.

There was also some positive news for the local gas market.

The company will double the level of Pluto gas allocated to domestic supply through the North West Shelf venture. The gas is piped through an interconnector and processed at the neighbouring Karratha plant.

The Karratha domestic gas plant has plenty of spare capacity as old fields deplete, but the Pluto facility is too small to hit domestic reservation targets.

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