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AFX Asia (Focus): Australia’s Woodside lifts H1 sales revenue 19 pct

Published: Jul 19, 2007

SYDNEY (Thomson Financial) – Woodside Petroleum Ltd’s first-half sales revenue of 1.869 billion Australian dollars was 19 percent higher than the 1.568 billion dollars it made in the first half of last year, helped by increased production, the company said Thursday.

Woodside, 34 percent of which is owned by the Royal Dutch Shell group, said its second-quarter sales revenue had been 14 percent higher than a year earlier at 970 million dollars.

The company’s first-half production, at 35.0 million barrels of oil equivalent, was 17 percent higher than in the first half of last year.

In February, Woodside forecast output for 2007 of 72-78 million barrels of oil equivalent.

Its second-quarter production was nine percent higher than a year earlier at 17.0 million barrels of oil equivalent, but was six percent lower than in the first quarter, largely because of the sale of its Legendre assets off the state of Western Australia and the reduced output of its Chinguetti field in Mauritania. Chinguetti, which has failed to meet expectations since production began there early in 2006, produced 1.55 million barrels of oil in the second quarter, having produced 1.31 million in the first.

The company said its Otway gas project, which was due to start up in 2006 before it ran into technical problems, was expected to supplement production in the second half, and that the BHP Billiton-operated Neptune oil project in the Gulf of Mexico could start production in the fourth quarter.

Woodside said its Stybarrow oil project off Western Australia, also operated by BHP Billiton, could start production late in the fourth quarter.

Woodside said it would make a final decision within the next two months on investing in its 1.4 billion-US-dollar Pluto liquefied natural gas project.

(1 US dollar = 1.14 Australian dollars) [email protected] bhx/jm

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