Woodside Sales Drop 6% After Delay at Australian Oil Project

Woodside Petroleum Ltd., Australia’s second-biggest oil producer, posted a 6 percent drop in second-quarter sales after delays at its Vincent oil project off the west coast reduced output.

Revenue fell to $1.35 billion from $1.43 billion a year earlier, the Perth-based company said today in a statement. That compares with a median estimate of $1.38 billion from three analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

Production was 20 million barrels of oil equivalent, compared with 20.1 million barrels a year earlier. The median estimate from three analysts was 21.2 million barrels.

Woodside earlier this month cut its full-year production forecast after an unplanned shutdown at its A$15 billion ($13.7 billion) Pluto liquefied natural gas project in Western Australia caused a temporary interruption. Delays to the scheduled refurbishment of the Vincent floating production storage and offloading vessel also meant output at that facility won’t restart until October, Woodside said July 3.

Output has since resumed at the Pluto plant, according to the company’s statement today.

The company expects an impairment cost of $120 million to $140 million for the first half of the year partly related to scrapping a proposal for developing the Cimatti field, it said.

Shares of Woodside were little changed at A$37.46 in Sydney trading, while the benchmark index rose 0.2 percent.

Woodside is studying the Israeli government’s natural gas export policy announced last month, the company said today. The Australian energy company agreed in December to acquire 30 percent of the Leviathan field off Israel for an initial $696 million, though the deal is still pending.

Production for 2013 is expected at 85 million barrels of oil equivalent to 89 million barrels, down from a previous forecast of 88 million barrels to 94 million barrels, the company said earlier this month.

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