31 January 2011
Quarterly Production Report December 2010
Origin Energy Limited ("Origin") today released its Quarterly Production Report for its exploration and production business, reporting record production of 68.2 petajoules equivalent (PJe) and sales revenues of $424 million for the half year to 31 December 2010.
Origin Executive Director, Finance and Strategy, Ms Karen Moses, said "The Exploration and Production business achieved record production for the half year of 68.2 PJe, a 38 per cent increase on the same period last year. Sales revenues for the half year of $424 million represented an increase of 48 per cent compared with the prior corresponding period.
"The strong result for the 2010 half year period is the result of increased contributions from the Kupe Gas Project and the Otway Gas Project in which Origin increased its interest during 2010, as well as a significant increase in Australia Pacific LNG's production.
"Australia Pacific LNG increased production by 44 per cent for the 2010 half year. Production capacity reached levels in excess of 320 terajoules per day (TJ/d) during the period. Notwithstanding severe weather conditions late in the December 2010 quarter, Australia Pacific LNG has continued to meet all of its domestic customer requirements," Ms Moses said.
Production for the quarter to 31 December 2010 was 31.1 PJe, 16 per cent lower than the September quarter 2010. This result was in line with expectations and reflects seasonal demand, planned shutdowns at the Kupe and Otway gas projects and adverse weather conditions in Queensland and the Cooper Basin. For the December quarter, sales volumes and revenues were 14 per cent and 15 per cent lower respectively, reflecting the reduced production.
Australia Pacific LNG continues to make substantial progress on its CSG to LNG project which is underpinned by Australia's largest and highest quality CSG reserves base. Commonwealth approval is the next step in gaining the necessary regulatory approvals for the project with a determination on the EIS expected by Tuesday 22 February 2011.
In the Half Year to 31 December 2010 expenditure on exploration and evaluation activities amounted to $121 million. A significant portion of this expenditure was associated with an expanded offshore and international drilling campaign which was previously advised to the market. This included the drilling or testing of five greenfield exploration wells which have not encountered commercial hydrocarbons. It is expected that the majority of expenditure associated with this exploration program will be expensed in Origin's accounts for the Half Year to 31 December 2010.
The expanded exploration program will continue into the second half of the 2011 financial year and drilling of the first of two appraisal wells on an existing discovery in Thailand commenced in the New Year.
The report does not cover other areas of the integrated energy businesses undertaken by Origin, including electricity generation, energy retailing or its subsidiary Contact Energy of New Zealand.
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Origin boosts gas supply to southern markets
Origin has secured additional gas supply and transport that will enable it to materially increase gas supply to customers in southern markets, helping to alleviate a potential forecast shortfall in supply identified by the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO).