The oil price has risen by almost 50 per cent over the last six months, skyrocketing from a low of about $US50 a barrel the day before Christmas last year to a high of $US74 last week.
Origin expects APLNG to generate about $850 million in cash over the 2019 financial year.
The company also saw a lift in its electricity generation division’s revenues quarter on quarter, which rose by about 7 per cent. However, it was down 3 per cent compared to the same time last year.
“In the energy markets business, our power stations performed solidly over the summer and were ready and available during heatwave conditions which occurred across much of the country in January and again in March,” Mr Calabria said.
“While gas sales to wholesale customers declined in the quarter, we directed additional gas to generation where it helped to meet peak summer demand in the electricity market.”
It follows Standard & Poor’s Global Ratings upgrade of Origin’s credit rating from BBB- to BBB, and a similar upgrade by fellow ratings service Moody’s.
“S&P’s upgraded credit rating, along with the announced upgrade by Moody’s, reflects Origin’s efforts in recent years to materially reduce debt and improve business performance,” Origin chief financial officer Lawrie Tremain said at the time.
RBC Capital Markets analyst Ben Wilson said Origin had performed better than expected, as RBC had anticipated a greater hit to revenues from the lower oil prices late last year.
He said the company’s share price would have been performing better if not for the federal government’s threats of heavy-handed regulation into the energy sector.
The government threatened to implement a series of ‘big sticks’ to drive down high power bills, which included a new standard base electricity price and the ability for government to break up companies found to be ‘misbehaving’ in the market.
“We think Origin’s share price represents a disconnect attributable to potential regulatory intervention into the electricity sector,” Mr Wilson said.
“We do think the worst is behind Origin in terms of regulatory intervention as proposed forced divestiture legislation is in our view unlikely and the outcomes of a review into default market offers were consistent with Origin’s guidance presented last year.”
Origin’s share price fell 0.7 per cent to $7.40 in early trading on Tuesday.
Covering energy and policy at Fairfax Media.