Higher oil and gas prices, the takeoff of new projects in Australia, Indonesia and Vietnam, coupled with improved weather conditions and a modification in accounting practices proved to be allies that helped advance the revenues and production output of Santos Ltd. this first quarter of 2012.
On Thursday, the oil and gas company reported its revenue for the first three months of the year hit $750 million, even outdoing an earlier $721 million forecast of UBS, compared from $501 million a year ago when Australia got struck with heavy rains prompting production to slide to a six-year low.
Correspondingly, its oil and gas production likewise surged in the first quarter, reaching 12.4 million barrels of oil equivalent (mboe) in the three months to March 31, translating to a 13 per cent hike compared to the same period in 2011.
David Knox, Chief Executive of Santos Ltd., however, said the oil and gas the company produced was still below compared to the 12.8 mboe produced in the last quarter of 2010.
"Our production compared to last year has increased as a result of adding four new projects to the base business," Mr Knox said in a statement on Thursday.
"Higher production, combined with strong oil and gas prices, has delivered a solid first quarterly result, setting a strong foundation for 2012."
The launch of the Chim Sao project in Vietnam in October, the Reindeer project in Western Australia state in December and Indonesia's Wortel project in January aided the oil and gas producer's output to grow to 12.4 mboe, from 11.0 mboe a year earlier.
The company said it remains focused on delivering the ExxonMobil-led LNG project in Papua New Guinea, which it owns at 13.5 per cent, along with the LNG project at Gladstone, Queensland that it operates.
Mr Knox said both projects remain on track for first production in 2014 and 2015, respectively.