Australia’s independent gas producer Woodside Petroleum has planned to book impairments of $4.37bn after tax due to a decrease in crude prices as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

As part of the move, the company aims to write down the value of its oil and gas assets by around $3.92bn, according to a Reuters report.

Woodside also expressed uncertainty over the development of gas fields in Australia and Canada.

Writedowns by oil and gas companies had been expected after the recent moves by oil giants such as Shell and BP, which have written off billions of dollars from their recent asset valuation.

Reuters cited some analysts and investors as saying that Woodside’s writedowns are bigger than expected.

The news agency quoted Argo Investments portfolio manager Andy Foster as saying: “Clearly in a lower oil price environment they’re certainly going to have to rejig a lot of projects.”

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By GlobalData

Woodside also reported that its second quarter production was 7% higher than the previous quarter (Q1-2020), with production reaching 25.9MMboe.

Woodside CEO Peter Coleman said: “I am proud of the way the Woodside team has responded to unprecedented challenges in this half: managing the impact of Tropical Cyclone Damien; ensuring the safety of our people and business integrity as the Covid-19 pandemic unfolded; and adapting to the lower commodity price environment.

“We have implemented the cost-saving measures announced at the end of the last quarter and are preparing our future growth projects to proceed when market conditions improve. Our business is set up to deliver long-term shareholder value.”

In January 2016, Woodside Petroleum made a new gas discovery at the Shwe Yee Htun-1 exploration well in Block A-6 in the Rakhine Basin, located offshore Myanmar.