By Ross Kelly
SYDNEY--Woodside Petroleum Ltd. (>> Woodside Petroleum Limited) said Thursday that early design work on projects that were never built will shave up to US$140 million from its first-half profit.
Australia's second-biggest oil company by output behind BHP Billiton Ltd. (>> BHP Billiton Limited) said it expects to book an impairment charge of between US$120 million and US$140 million for the six months to June 30. Last year, Woodside booked a first-half profit of US$812 million.
The blow is partly related to the cost of early design work on an expansion of its Pluto gas-export plant in Western Australia state, which was later put on ice after Woodside failed to enough gas in an expensive drilling campaign.
Costs associated with planning the development of the Laverda oil discovery, also offshore Western Australia, contributed to the writedown, Woodside said.
Separately, the company said oil production fell 0.6% to 20 million barrels of oil equivalent in the three months to June 30. Quarterly revenue fell 6% to US$1.35 billion due to a longer-than-expected shutdown of its Vincent oil production facility.
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