By Sonali Paul and Riya Sharma
MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Woodside Energy Group Ltd more than tripled its interim dividend payment on Tuesday after the The Australian gas producer saw a five-fold increase in its first-quarter results. – Higher oil and gas prices and half of profits from the acquisition of BHP Billiton’s oil division.
Woodside benefits from soaring liquefied natural gas (LNG) prices as Russia imposes sanctions after its invasion of Ukraine, forcing Asian and European Gas buyers are looking for alternative suppliers in an already tight market.
Woodside, now among the top 10 independent oil and gas producers in the world, declared an interim dividend of $1.09 per share, generating $2.1 billion for shareholders, the third largest dividend paid last year times more than analysts’ forecasts.
Shares of Woodside rose 3.8% following the results, outpacing the broader market’s gains.
“Our first results since the completion of the merger with the BHP Billiton oil business underscores the financial and operational growth,” said Meg O’Neill, Chief Executive Officer.
Wood Seid posted an underlying net profit after tax of $1.82 billion for the six months to June 30, up from $354 million a year earlier in. The result beat analysts’ estimates of about $1.49 billion, according to Visible Alpha.
After merging with BHP Billiton’s oil division, Woodside now owns 100% of the $5.6 billion Scarborough gas project, its largest growth More than 18 months.
O’Neill said the company was in talks with “high-quality” potential partners, but given the strength of the LNG market, it was only at fair value The next sale is “an extremely important future asset for Woodside” with production starting in 2026.
“But again, we will not sell this key asset,” O’Neal told analysts on a conference call.
She did not comment on whether the company is still seeking to sell as much as 50% of Scarborough.
Woodside has To begin a strategic review of all assets in the expanded business to plan its next growth project, which could include new energy, as well as Browse and Greater Sunrise gas near North West Australia, she said.
(Reporting by Riya Sharma and Indranil Sarkar in Bengaluru; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi and Stephen Coates)