See all articles

Cooper slips to a loss

Aussie player falls into the red but underlying performance improves on increased revnue

One-off costs dragged Cooper Energy into the red in the recent financial year, but the Australian company did see an improvement in its underlying performance.

Cooper posted a net loss of A$12.1 million (US$8.2 million) for the 12 months to 30 June, slipping from last year’s net profit of A$27 million.

Dragging the company into the red was a A$26.2 million non-cash restoration expense arising from the reassessment of provisioning for the rehabilitation of the non-producing Patricia Baleen gas field and the second-half impact of lower risk-free rates used to discount the provisions. Partially offsetting this was a gain on the sale the Orbost gas plant to APA Group.

Taking into account the one-off items, Cooper’s underlying net profit totalled A$13.3 million, a 36% improvement on the prior financial year.

This came as revenues rose 12%, year-on-year, to A$75.5 million, as higher oil prices offset a fall in output from 1.5 million barrels of oil equivalent to 1.3 million boe.

Managing director David Maxwell also noted that the higher revenue had been driven by the company’s gas sales which rose 28% year-on-year, offsetting a fall in crude output.

“The improved financial results for the second half align with commencement of new gas contracts on 1 January 2019,” he added.

“This process is ongoing, with the new contracts negotiated in 2019 expected to benefit the FY20 financial result.”

Cooper expects the 2020 financial year to be “significant” with the anticipated start-up of the Sole gas development off Victoria with offshore construction complete and the operator now waiting on upgrades to the Orbost plant to be completed.

Cooper said Monday commissioning activities were expected to start at the gas plant in September, with first gas supply anticipated in the September quarter.

Cooper has budgeted A$60 million for exploration over the current financial year, with 85% of that to be directed towards exploring for gas in south-east Australia.

The company is set to drill three exploration wells in south-east of Australia over the 2020 financial year in both the onshore and offshore Otway basin, with the first of those wells, Annie-1, spudding off Victoria earlier this month.

Once operations are completed at Annie-1, Cooper will turn its attention to the offshore Elanora-1 well and the onshore Dombey-1 well.

Maxwell noted that the company was also turning its attention to its next offshore campaign which, subject to rig availability, could start in late 2020.

“Our portfolio holds undeveloped gas reserves and resources such as at Manta and Henry which, subject to drilling, can be brought to market,” he said.

“These projects, and any discoveries that result from our current offshore drilling campaign, can bring the next wave of growth for our company after Sole.”

Cooper expects output in the current financial year to total more than 5 petajoules of gas and 240,000 barrels of oil from its existing assets, with the company noting that figure did not include anticipated output from Sole.

It has previously been stated that Sole is expected to boost the company’s daily gas production by more than five times, from an annual average of about 15 terajoules per day to more than 80 TJ per day.

Latest news
Most read