Santos has posted a 7.0 per cent rise in annual net profit as a jump in production helped offset weaker gas and oil prices across the year.
Net profit attributable rose to $US674 million ($A1.0 billion) for the year ended December 31, while revenue from ordinary activities climbed 10 per cent to $US4.03 billion.
Underlying profit fell 1.0 per cent to $US719 million for the year ended December 31, from $US727 million a year ago.
Australia’s second-largest independent gas producer declared a final dividend of five US cents per share, below last year’s payout of 6.2 cents per share.
The company says it is making steady progress on a number of projects.
“Following completion of the ConocoPhillips’ acquisition, we expect to take a final investment decision on the Barossa project to backfill Darwin LNG in the second quarter,” chief executive Kevin Gallagher said on Thursday.
“The Barossa and DLNG (Darwin LNG) partners are in advanced discussions to finalise the processing agreement for Barossa gas to support a final investment decision.”
Santos’ final aim is for Barossa gas field to feed the Darwin LNG plant.
There is a roughly 18-month gap between when the Bayu-Undan gas field that feeds the Darwin plant is set to run dry in 2022 and when Barossa is due to start producing.
However, Santos has been looking for ways to extend the life of Bayu-Undan.
Santos also said it was targeting a preliminary engineering design entry decision for its Dorado project, the biggest Australian oil find in more than two decades, in the second quarter.