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Woodside Achieves Record Oil Production as Pluto Outperforms

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USGS: Estimate of Conventional Gas Resources Grows Internationally

Woodside Petroleum disclosed Thursday that it has achieved record production output and sales revenue for the full-year 2012, as the performance of its flagship Pluto liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant offshore Western Australia exceed expectations since start up in April last year.

The Perth-based company noted in a statement that its annual output for 2012 is up 31 percent year-on-year at 84.9 million barrels of oil equivalent, while its revenue for the same period increased 30 percent to $6.2 billion.

Commenting on the company's performance, Woodside's CEO, Peter Coleman, said: "Our full-year production levels clearly demonstrate what a game-changer Pluto is for Woodside, with production levels consistently above our expectations."

Coleman added: "It has resulted in a step-change in our annual sales revenues, positioning us to pursue value-adding growth opportunities such as potential LNG developments in Israel and exploration activities in Myanmar."

Woodside is making a series of bold bets on the natural gas front this year, as major economies in Asia – such as Japan and South Korea – move towards incorporating LNG into their fuel mix for power generation.

The company reached an in-principle agreement in December last year to acquire a 30 percent participating interest in the 349/Rachel and 350/Amit petroleum licenses, which contain the mammoth Leviathan gas field offshore Israel.

In the fourth quarter of last year, Woodside's offers to acquire an interest in blocks AD-7 and A-6, offshore Myanmar; were also accepted. Entry into the blocks gives Woodside the opportunity to acquire 3D seismic in 2013/14, with options to drill exploration wells in subsequent exploration periods. AD-7 is operated by South Korea's Daewoo, while A-6 is operated by India's MRPL E&P.

Meanwhile, Woodside is in the midst of evaluating tender bids for onshore and offshore infrastructure for the Browse LNG project. The company will make its final investment decision on the project in the first half of this year. 

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