Woodside Petroleum Reports 29 Percent Rise in Profit for 2006

Woodside Petroleum Reports 29 Percent Rise in Profit for 2006

Higher production and oil prices fueled a 29 percent rise in yearly net profit for Australia’s Woodside Petroleum Ltd., which reported earnings of 1.43 billion Australia dollars (US$1.12 billion; euro850 million) in 2006.

The Perth-based corporation — Australia’s biggest dedicated oil and gas company — said Wednesday its production for the 12 months to Dec. 31 was 67.9 million barrels of oil equivalent, and that it expects to produce between 72 million and 78 million barrels in 2007.

Revenue for the year climbed 36.7 percent to A$3.81 billion (US$3 billion; euro2.3 billion) from A$2.75 billion (US$2.16 billion; euro1.64 billion) last year.

Woodside also said it will spend about A$240 million (US$189 million; euro144 million) on exploration during the coming year, down 16 percent from last year.

Woodside said the vote by the East Timorese Parliament this week to ratify revenue sharing agreements for the Greater Sunrise reservoirs is a step forward for a project it had shelved due to uncertainty.

“This now provides legal and regulatory certainty for the development of the Greater Sunrise gas fields and is a significant step forward,” Woodside said.

Woodside said at the end of 2006 its proven and probable reserves stood at 1.580 billion barrels of oil equivalent, up 336 million barrels from the end of 2005, largely due to the recognition of the reserves at its Pluto project off the coast of Western Australia.

Woodside declared a final dividend of 77 cents per share, taking the full year dividend to A$1.26 a share, up from 93 cents paid in 2005.

Woodside shares rose 1.24 percent Wednesday to A$37.63.

AP via Yahoo News

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