Woodside Petroleum meets production guidance

<p>Australia’s premier oil and gas exposure Woodside Petroleum reported 84.9 million barrels of oil equivalent in production for 2013 which was at the higher end […]</p>

Australia’s premier oil and gas exposure Woodside Petroleum reported 84.9 million barrels of oil equivalent in production for 2013 which was at the higher end of its guidance 83-86 million range. The numbers come as Woodside ramps up its Pluto LNG development operations and cashes in on higher oil and gas prices. It generated over $6bn in revenue for the year and seems well on its way to delivering a profit in excess of $2bn which the market is expecting.

We first mentioned Woodside’s global growth ambitions in December in our update entitled “Woodside pursues global ambitions”. That commitment was again supplemented by news that Woodside intends on seeking two prospective blocks in Myanmar following the country’s reforms. The move would expand Woodside’s sphere of influence further north into Asia. Since 1989, Woodside has delivered more than 3,000 liquefied natural gas shipments to Japan among other key customers. Success in Myanmar and Israel could further see Woodside develop into a global name. These are big ambitions with reasonable amounts of risk that some may find too high. Either way, we should know the group’s intentions when the outcomes of Browse liquefied natural gas are released to the market before June this year.

Aussie jobs in line with expectations

The rate of unemployment printed in line with expectations, up to 5.4% from 5.2% previously. This will see the RBA likely move again in February (as part of an ongoing process) to provide monetary stimulus to the economy. The government has shelved a fiscal surplus target but it will not ease either, instead it says the revenue assumptions will fall short. Currency markets are not too concerned, they still see the Australian economy as a relatively more attractive destination to invest. The AUDUSD was last trading at $1.0506 while the AUDJPY slipped below 93.00 in early afternoon trade to last settle at 92.70. Interest rate cut assumptions may have firmed today, but the differentials are still significant to yields in the US and Japan.

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