Fourth quarter sales revenue was 7% higher than the previous quarter and 38% higher than the December 2003 period.
Total 2004 sales revenue of $2.16 billion was up 4.8% due to stronger product prices despite a 7.4% drop in full-year production over 2003 levels.
Woodside produced 13.966 million barrels of oil equivalent (boe) in the four months to the end of December, down from 14.16 million boe in the previous quarter, with an aveage realised price of $62 per boe.
Woodside said the fall in production was due largely to a profit-per-barrel formula that determined Woodside's entitlement to oil from the Ohanet field in Algeria. The price of crude in the September quarter reduced the volume of oil to which Woodside was entitled but did not affect its revenue from Ohanet.
But production was also affected by other factors. Volumes from the Laminaria and Corallina fields in the Timor Sea and Legendre in the Carnarvon Basin have been declining. The Cossack field in the North West Shelf has also been having problems.
It also flagged a 20 day maintenance shutdown on the fourth train for remedial work on the cryogenic heat exchanger, which may affect two cargoes in the latter half of this year. The shutdown was not planned although a Woodside spokesman was quoted as saying all new plants needed tweaking to achieve optimum production.
Woodside has responded by increasing its exploration budget. It also said its Chinguetti, Otway and Enfield projects were still all advancing within budget and on schedule for start-up in 2006.