Woodside Production Falls 12 Percent

Source: Reuters 1/21/2011, Location: Not categorized

Australia's Woodside Petroleum posted a sharp decline in fourth-quarter production and predicted further output declines in 2011, but said it saw no more delays to its flagship Pluto LNG project.

Fourth-quarter output fell 12 percent to 17.7 millions of barrels of oil equivalent (mmboe) compared to a year earlier, due in part to some asset sales, and 2011 production excluding Pluto would be between 63 and 66 mmboe, down from 72.7 mmboe in 2010, Woodside said on Friday.

That drop will be partially offset by the 4.3 million-tonnes-per-year Pluto project, which is over 95 percent complete and will start up in August, as it is expected to produce in the range of 5 to 9 mmboe in 2011.

Woodside delayed Pluto's start up by six months in November and revealed a A$1 billion cost blowout to the A$14 billion project. It added that the earliest start-up date for Pluto's expansion train was the end of 2014.

Woodside said the Browse LNG project, hampered by a land dispute with indigenous landowners in Australia, remained on track for a final investment decision by mid-2012 while it remained in talks with the Timor-Leste government to obtain approvals for its Sunrise project.


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