BHP's Petrohawk unit loss widens on gas price drop
BHP Billiton's Petrohawk Energy has reported a widening of its first-quarter loss after natural gas prices fell.
The loss was $US55 million ($54.59 million) in the three months to March 31, compared with a loss of $US29 million a year earlier, the company said in a statement.
Petrohawk, which was acquired last year by the world's biggest mining company for $US14.9 billion, said average gas prices declined to $US2.49 per thousand cubic feet in the quarter from $US3.93. BHP may write down the value of its US gas assets by as much as $US5 billion due to lower prices when it reports full-year profit, Citigroup said in a report.
“Our cash flows are subject to a number of variables including our level of oil and natural gas production and commodity prices,” Petrohawk said.
“If natural gas prices remain at their current levels for a prolonged period of time or if oil and natural gas prices decline, our ability to fund our capital expenditures, reduce debt, meet our financial obligations and become profitable may be materially impacted.”
BHP rose 0.8 per cent to $34.62 yesterday at the close of trading, gaining 0.9 per cent since the start of the year.