BHP Notes Lower Productivity, Raises Copper Guidance -- Commodity Comment

Date : 23/01/2019 @ 01:29
Source : Dow Jones News
Stock : Bhp Group Fpo (BHP)
Quote : 40.93  0.77 (1.92%) @ 18:50
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BHP Notes Lower Productivity, Raises Copper Guidance -- Commodity Comment

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  By David Hodari 
 

BHP Group, one of the world's largest mining companies, released its results for the financial quarter ended Dec. 31 late on Monday. In its report, the company maintained its production guidance for petroleum, iron ore and coal, but boosted its total copper production guidance. Here are some other remarks from the report.

 

On productivity:

 

"Productivity for the December 2018 half-year has been impacted by unplanned production outages at Olympic Dam, Spence and Western Australia Iron Ore, with a total negative impact of approximately $600 million."

 

On petroleum:

 

"Guidance for the 2019 financial year remains unchanged at between 113 and 118 million barrels, with volumes expected to be toward the upper end of the guidance range. Crude oil, condensate and natural gas liquids production declined by 5% to 29 million barrels due to natural field decline across the portfolio and a 70 day planned dry dock maintenance program at Pyrenees completed during the September 2018 quarter. This decline was partially offset by higher uptimes at our Gulf of Mexico assets. Natural gas production was broadly flat at 206 bcf, reflecting increased tax barrels at Trinidad and Tobago in accordance with the terms of our Production Sharing Contract."

 

On petroleum exploration:

 

"In the Western US Gulf of Mexico, the Ocean Bottom Node seismic acquisition is expected to be completed in the March 2019 quarter. This is the world's first deepwater exploration ocean bottom node seismic acquisition...BHP was successful in its bids to acquire a 100% interest in, and operatorship of, two exploration licenses for blocks 8 and 12 in the Orphan Basin, offshore Eastern Canada. BHP's aggregate bid amount of $625 million reflects the costs of the drilling and seismic work likely to be performed during the exploration phase, although there is no minimum work program under the licence agreements...Petroleum exploration expenditure for the December 2018 half-year was $316 million, of which $166 million was expensed. A $750 million exploration and appraisal program is being executed for the 2019 financial year."

 

On copper:

 

"Total copper production decreased by 1% to 825 kt. Guidance for the 2019 financial year has been increased to between 1,645 and 1,740 kt and reflects the retention of Cerro Colorado. Escondida copper production was broadly unchanged at 580 kt as higher concentrator throughput and improved recoveries offset the impact of expected lower copper grades. Production guidance remains unchanged at between 1,120 and 1,180 kt for the 2019 financial year."

 

On iron ore:

 

"Total iron-ore production increased by 2% to 119 Mt--135 Mt on a 100% basis. Guidance for the 2019 financial year remains unchanged at between 241 and 250 Mt, or between 273 and 283 Mt on a 100% basis."

 

On coal:

 

"Metallurgical coal production increased by 2% to 21 Mt. Guidance for the 2019 financial year remains unchanged at between 43 and 46 million tons, with volumes weighted to the second half of the year as expected. At Queensland Coal, increased production was supported by record production at South Walker Creek and higher wash-plant throughput at Poitrel following the purchase of the Red Mountain processing facility..Energy coal production decreased by 5% to 13 million tons. Guidance for the 2019 financial year remains unchanged at approximately 28 to 29 million tons. New South Wales Energy Coal production decreased by 4% as a result of a higher average strip ratio."

 

On ongoing projects:

 

"During the December 2018 quarter, the North West Shelf Greater Western Flank-B project achieved first production ahead of schedule and under budget. The North West Shelf Greater Western Flank-B project will not be reported in future Operational Reviews. At the end of December 2018, BHP had five major projects under development in petroleum, copper, iron ore and potash, with a combined budget of $10.6 billion over the life of the projects."

 

Write to David Hodari at david.hodari@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

January 22, 2019 09:14 ET (14:14 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2019 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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