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Santos Says Production Declined After Central Australia Floods

July 22 (Bloomberg) -- Santos Ltd., Australia’s third-largest oil and gas producer, reported an 11 percent decline in second-quarter output as floods in central Australia disrupted operations in the Cooper Basin.

Production in the three months ended June 30 dropped to 11.9 million barrels of oil equivalent from 13.4 million barrels a year earlier, Adelaide-based Santos said in a statement today to the Australian stock exchange. Santos maintained its 2010 production forecast of 49 million to 52 million barrels.

“Recovery is well underway and all drilling rigs are now back in operation” after the floods, the Australian oil and gas producer said. Even so, “the company’s operations in the Cooper Basin would continue to be impacted for several months,” Chief Executive Officer David Knox said.

Santos shares fell 0.2 percent to A$13.72 at 10:10 a.m. in Sydney trading. The S&P/ASX 200 Index was 0.4 percent lower.

Sales rose 20 percent to A$580 million in the quarter from A$484 million a year earlier. UBS AG had expected Santos to post revenue of about A$484 million in the quarter, according to a July 19 report by Melbourne-based analyst Gordon Ramsay.

Santos, which is planning the Gladstone liquefied natural gas project in Queensland state, said the venture is continuing to advance toward a final investment decision later in 2010.

“GLNG remains in detailed discussions with a number of parties in relation to potential LNG sales, equity in the project and collaboration between projects,” Knox said.

To contact the reporter on this story: James Paton in Sydney jpaton4@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Amit Prakash at aprakash1@bloomberg.net.

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