BRIEFS

ENERGY

ENERGY

Costs warning

Woodside Petroleum has warned that further cost blowouts in the oil and gas industry could jeopardise investment. With seven large LNG projects being developed in Australia, Woodside's chief executive, Peter Coleman, said investors would deploy capital elsewhere if operators failed to maintain cost estimates and schedules.

PAPERLINX

CFO leaves

PaperlinX will embark on the restructure of its struggling European operations with a new chief financial officer. The paper and packaging group, which in November announced 370 jobs would go at its European operations, said a replacement for Richard Barfield was expected to be announced soon. PaperlinX reported a loss of $266.7 million for 2011-12.

RETAIL

Buy and cell

Shoppers are increasingly using their mobile devices in the lead-up to Christmas. PayPal Australia says Australians are expected to make $5.6 billion worth of purchases on their mobile phones this Christmas, compared to $155 million in 2010. Consumers were increasingly using mobile devices to shop after stores closed, with 30 per cent of transactions between 8pm and midnight.

TRANSFIELD

Contract wins

Transfield Services has won several contracts worth $140 million, including work on two energy projects. The contracts include providing maintenance at Woodside's offshore oil and gas facilities in Western Australia for three years. It won the right to build several wells as part of the Queensland Curtis liquefied natural gas project.

ELECTRICITY

Price outlook

Australia's wholesale electricity prices are likely to stabilise in coming years, and east coast states other than Queensland should have ample generating capacity to cope with peak demand, according to a report by analysts at ROAM Consulting. Wholesale prices in NSW, Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania and the ACT average about $50 to $60 per megawatt hour.

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