Wheatstone LNG a drag on Woodside Petroleum

Oct. 19 (UPI) — General gains in liquefied natural gas production from Australia’s Woodside Petroleum weren’t enough to lift expectations for total output, it said Thursday.

The company said in a third quarter statement that its production guidance for the year was narrowed because of a delay in the start of the first liquefaction facility, or train, at its Wheatstone project in the state of Western Australia.

The consortium behind Wheatstone had expected a startup by midyear 2017, but announced only in October that operations were up and running.

At its peak, the facility will supply nearly 9 million tons of super-cooled gas every year to the emerging and energy-hungry economies of Asia. The facility is located about 7 miles away from the Wheatstone and Iago natural gas fields.

The Wheatstone consortium includes the Kuwait Foreign Petroleum Exploration Co., Australian energy company Woodside Petroleum. Drawing on a global portfolio, Woodside said it executed sales and purchase agreements for more than a dozen cargoes of LNG for delivery between 2017 and 2019.

Woodside said Thursday that total operating revenue to Sept. 30 was $ 2.8 billion, down 4 percent from the same period last year. Wheatstone has yet to account for any of the sale revenue reported by the company.

The figures came even as Woodside boasted of record-setting production from its Pluto LNG facility in Australia, which delivered its 350th cargo during the reported period. Monthly production was 3 percent higher in July, compared with the previous record set in the same month last year.

For the third quarter alone, sales revenue for Wheatstone was 5 percent higher than the second quarter and CEO Peter Coleman put the focus on success at Pluto.

“The period marked further strong operational performance from Pluto LNG,” he said. “For the second quarter in succession, Pluto achieved a number of production records.”

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