Woodside Raises Production Forecast as Sales Jump 46%

Woodside Petroleum Ltd., Australia’s second-largest oil and gas producer, raised its output forecast after quarterly sales jumped 46 percent as it achieved higher prices for its liquefied natural gas.

Sales climbed to $1.96 billion from $1.34 billion a year ago, Perth-based Woodside said today in a statement. That was in line with an estimate of $1.95 billion from UBS AG.

Production was 25.2.million barrels of oil equivalent, compared with 21.9 million barrels a year earlier. UBS expected output of 23 million barrels, it said in an Oct. 13 report. The company now expects to produce 93 million to 95 million barrels this year from its previous target of 89 million to 94 million barrels on stronger operational performance.

Increased revenue was “predominantly due to additional oil volumes sold primarily from Vincent and higher realized prices for Pluto LNG volumes sold in the period,” the company said today in the statement.

Higher prices at Woodside’s A$15 billion ($13 billion) Pluto LNG development in Western Australia have boosted sales, according to UBS. The oil producer earlier this year also agreed to sell more LNG from Pluto to Korea Gas Corp. and Chubu Electric Power Co.

Woodside is stepping up its search for global acquisitions after its $2.7 billion plan to buy back stock from Royal Dutch Shell Plc was blocked by shareholders, leaving Europe’s largest oil company with a larger, unwanted stake in the Australian energy company. Woodside’s bid to invest as much as $2.6 billion in an Israeli gas project collapsed in May.

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