Santos Quarterly Revenue Steady As LNG Output Ramps Up


MELBOURNE, April 22 (Reuters) - Australia's Santos Ltd reported a 1 percent rise in first quarter revenue as it stepped up coal seam gas sales to its Gladstone liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant, offsetting a collapse in oil and gas prices.

Sales volumes in the March quarter rocketed 40 percent to 21.3 million barrels of oil equivalent (mmboe).

Revenue inched up to A$835 million from A$825 million in the period a year earlier, roughly in line with a forecast from RBC, as its average realised price fell 28 percent.

Train 1 at Gladstone LNG, which shipped its first cargo last October, produced at an annual rate of 3.8 million tonnes a year in the March quarter, and Santos said it expects to begin producing LNG from the second unit at Gladstone this quarter.

Santos' chief executive, Kevin Gallagher, who took the reins in February, days after the company's shares hit a 23-year low, said he remained focused on how to position the company to withstand weak oil prices.

"We will continue to look for opportunities to lift productivity and reduce costs to drive long-term value for shareholders," he said in a statement.

The company reaffirmed it expects to sell between 76 and 83 mmboe this year.

Shares in Santos have jumped more than 80 percent in recent months following a recovery in oil prices and are currently at a near six-month high at A$4.63.

(Reporting by Sonali Paul; Editing by Richard Pullin)


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