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Woodside to pay special dividend following Browse LNG decision

LNG Industry,

Woodside has announced that it will pay out a Special Dividend to investors. The announcement follows the news earleir this month that the Browse LNG project will not go ahead in its present form. The 12 million tpy onshore LNG processing facility project, which was to be based at James Price Point near Broome, Western Australia, has been cancelled based on commerical concerns. CEO and Managing Director of Woddside, Peter Coleman, stated in an interview that, “the cost escalation has been such that the total costs for Browse have resulted in the the current development project not being commercial.”

The Board of Woodside today announced a plan to return additional cash to its shareholders.

“Woodside is in the fortunate position, at the present time, of having a number of promising growth prospects ahead of it and also experiencing strong cash flows.” said Chairman, Michael Chaney.

“Given the lead times involved with the growth projects and forecast reductions in the company’s debt levels, the Board has concluded that it would be appropriate to pay a special dividend to shareholders now and increase the company’s dividend payout ratio.”

“These initiatives reflect the Board’s commitment to disciplined capital management and desire to distribute additional franking credits to our shareholders. At the same time we shall continue to pursue growth opportunities where we believe they will create value for shareholders.” said Mr Chaney.

Special Dividend

The Board has declared a special dividend of US$0.63 per share. The dividend will be paid on 29 May 2013 to all shareholders registered on the record date of 6 May 2013. The ex-dividend date for dividend entitlement will be 30 April 2013. The dividend will be fully franked for Australian taxation purposes.

Adapted from press release by Peter Farrell.

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