Santos sales revenue is down 24% on disappearing oil prices

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Santos posted a 24% drop in sales to $825 million for the March quarter as the fall in global oil prices bites into the energy producer’s business.

Overall production, including both oil and gas, was also down, falling 7% to 14 million barrels of oil equivalent.

Crude oil of 2 million barrels was 22% lower than the previous quarter, mainly due to scheduled maintenance.

The average oil price was $A72 per barrel, about 22% lower than the previous quarter, and total crude oil sales of $223 million 42% lower.

The price of oil has dropped 60% from a high of $US115 a barrel in June to a low of $US47 in January.

Industry leaders expect the lower oil price environment to continue for years before recovering.

Woodside yesterday reported a 20.1% drop in March quarter sales to $US1.408 billion on weaker production, down 6.8% on the previous quarter to 21.8 million barrels of oil equivalent.

Santos CEO David Knox said today his company delivered a sound start to 2015, including higher production, progress on the Gladstone-based GLNG commissioning in Queensland and exploration success off Malaysia.

“I am pleased to report strong progress at GLNG, where first LNG is now expected around the end of the third quarter, within the US$18.5 billion budget,” he said.

He said the lower sales revenue was partially offset by stronger domestic gas prices and a weaker Australian dollar, and that the company had taken prompt and decisive actions to respond to lower oil prices.

“First quarter capital expenditure was 40% lower than last year and we continue to make solid inroads towards reducing production costs per barrel across the business,” he said.

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