Beach Energy cuts production outlook

SYDNEY–Beach Energy Ltd. (BPT.AU) pared its annual production guidance to account for recent weakness in demand from customers and a two-month delay in bringing online a new well that will feed the Otway gas plant in southeastern Australia.

Beach said it now expected annual production of between 27 million and 28 million barrels of oil equivalent, having previously forecast output of up to 29 million barrels. Management also said capital expenditure would be higher at between 875 million Australian dollars (US$584.9 million) and A$950 million, up from a prior forecast of A$750 million-A$850 million.

The revised outlook was published alongside Beach’s first-half result which included a 2% fall in net profit to A$278.5 million, as the impact of a monthlong maintenance shutdown at the Kupe gas plant on sales and production more than offset stronger realized oil prices.

Half-year revenue dropped by 10% to A$948.3 million in the period and production fell by 15%, dragged lower by the temporary shutdown of Kupe in November. Still, Beach realized an oil price of A$104.6 per barrel in the half-year period, up from A$100.4 per barrel at the same stage of the 2019 fiscal year.

Underlying profit, which strips out one-time items including unrealized hedging movements and gains on assets sales, was 2% lower at A$273.5 million, Beach said.

Directors of the company declared an interim dividend of 1.0 cents a share, unchanged on year.

Chief Executive Matt Kay said recent exploration success in Western Australia and southern Australia had supported the decision to increase investment in the current fiscal year.

Based in Adelaide, South Australia, Beach operates or has stakes in onshore and offshore oil and gas production across five basins in Australia and New Zealand. Established in 1961 by Australian oilman and geologist Reg Sprigg, the company has expanded rapidly in recent years though the 2016 acquisition of Drillsearch Energy and the A$1.6 billion deal in 2018 for Origin Energy Ltd.’s (ORG.AU) Lattice energy assets.

Write to David Winning at [email protected]

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