Santos First-Half Profit Declines 82% Amid Oil Price Collapse

Santos Ltd., Australia’s third-largest oil and gas producer, posted an 82 percent slump in first-half profit after a fall in oil prices.

Net income fell to A$37 million ($27 million) in the six months ending in June, from A$206 million a year earlier, the Adelaide-based company said Friday in a statement. That compared with an estimate of A$41 million from Macquarie Group Ltd.

The plunge in oil prices has put pressure on Santos as the company prepares to start its $18.5 billion liquefied natural gas project in Queensland state. The Australian energy producer has cut spending and jobs while flagging the possibility of asset sales as it copes with the oil market downturn.

Santos said earlier this week that the project is on track for first LNG around the end of the third quarter.