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The Wall Street Journal: Woodside Cuts Full-Year Forecast

October 19, 2007

Woodside Petroleum Ltd. cut its full-year production forecast by as much as 10%, feeling the impact of asset sales and a surprise field shutdown.

Perth-based Woodside, which is 34%-owned by Royal Dutch Shell PLC, said it expects to produce between 70 million and 71 million barrels of oil equivalent this year, down from an August forecast of between 72 million and 78 million barrels. The company produced 67.9 million barrels last year.

Woodside has experienced a series of oil-production problems. But analysts said investors are focused on the company’s plan to significantly increase production of liquefied natural gas in the face of strong Asian demand.

Woodside shares closed up 2.4% at 55.50 Australian dollars (US$49.35) amid broad support for resource stocks.

Some analysts and investors had anticipated the reduced forecast. Issues such as the recent sales of its Mauritanian assets and continued delays at the Otway gas joint venture had been largely factored in, said Andrew Blakely, an analyst at Macquarie Equities.

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