Santos Registers Record Sales Revenue of $874M in 4Q 2014, Up 2% YOY

Santos Ltd. posted record sales revenue of $874 million (AUD 1.09 billion) in the fourth quarter of 2014 (4Q 2014), up 2 percent from last year's $853.9 million (AUD 1.065 billion), with the gains attributed to the successful production start-up at the Papua New Guinea liquefied natural gas (PNG LNG) project and higher production from Cooper Basin fields in Australia, the company said in an announcement on its quarterly financial results Friday.

During the quarter, Santos' production reached 15.1 million barrels of oil equivalent (MMboe), 15 percent higher compared to 13.1 MMboe last year. The firm's production in 4Q 2014 brought the year's total to 54.1 MMboe, up 6 percent from 51.0 MMboe in 2013 and within the company's guidance range of 53 to 55 MMboe.

For 2015, Santos expects production to be in the range of 57-64 MMboe, while capital expenditure (excluding capitalized interest) will be approximately $1.6 billion (AUD 2 billion).

“Notwithstanding the fall in oil prices, Santos has delivered growth in full-year and quarterly production, and record sales revenue,” Santos Managing Director and CEO David Knox said in the press release.

Turning to development projects, Santos indicated that the GLNG Project in Queensland, Australia is more than 90 percent complete and it remains within budget and on track for first LNG in the second half of this year.

“We look forward to further growth in 2015 with the start-up of GLNG in the second half of this year ... Commissioning of the GLNG LNG plant is well underway, with firing of the first gas turbine generator expected in the coming weeks,” Knox said.

Meanwhile, Santos reported that the Barossa-3 appraisal well had intersected a gross gas bearing interval of 499 feet (152 meters) and provides significant upside to the resource position for the Barossa gas field, offshore Northern Territory.

"The Barossa-3 result strengthens Santos’ resource position in the Bonaparte Basin and means the Barossa gas field is well positioned to supply gas for either back-fill or expansion at Darwin LNG," the company.

In exploration activity, Santos revealed that the Tanumbirini-1 well in Northern Territory's permit EP 161 in Australia is being cased and suspended for later re-entry after encountering elevated gas readings, while drilling continues on the exploration section of the Hides F1 (Hides Deep) well in PNG.

Over in Malaysia, a two-well exploration program commenced in 4Q 2014 in Deepwater Block S. The first well, Telus-1, has been plugged and abandoned, while drilling at the second well, Ehsan-1, which was spud Dec. 31, 2014, is currently underway.

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