SANTOS has announced its highest quarterly production in seven years, entitled to 14 million barrels of oil equivalent (MMboe) in the September quarter.
The production rate was a nine per cent jump on the June quarter, while overall sales in the quarter were up 8% to 16.8 mmboe.
Increased output helped to underpin a strong 9% quarter-on-quarter increase in sales revenue to $1.06 billion, with the figure up 16% compared to the first nine months of 2013.
Santos said the strong results reflected the successful ramp-up of PNG LNG, which was partially offset by lower production from the Carnarvon basin due to extended outages at customer facilities and lower nominations, combined with the planned one-month shutdown of Darwin LNG in the current quarter.
Total sales gas, ethane and LNG sales revenues jumped 37% to $483 million for the quarter.
Santos managing director and chief executive David Knox said the successful ramp-up of the PNG LNG project had driven the company’s highest quarterly production result since 2007.
PNG LNG production reached full capacity in late-July and 23 LNG cargoes were shipped during the quarter.
Gross gas production for the third quarter from the ExxonMobil-led project was 92.3 petajoules, with Santos’s share tipping in at 12.5 PJ via its 13.5% stake.
Closer to home, Santos reported that the $US18.5 billion GLNG venture being developed on Curtis Island had reached key construction milestones, including commissioning of the first upstream gas hub, first gas into the gas transmission pipeline, delivery of the final train 2 module and the completion of hydro-testing of the second LNG tank.
“GLNG is approaching 90% complete, it remains on budget and we are on track to deliver first LNG in 2015,” Mr Knox said.
Santos reported sales gas production of 1.7 petajoules at GLNG was lower than the 2013 third quarter due to lower domestic gas nominations.
Gross average daily production from the Fairview field during the quarter was 79 terajoules per day.
The field was produced to meet domestic nominations with the remaining production injected into storage.
During the quarter, the company completed the delivery of the final GLNG train 2 module to Curtis Island and successful hydro-testing of the second LNG tank.
In the Cooper basin, the company reported sales gas and ethane production of 16.8 petajoules was 16% higher than the prior quarter, reflecting the ramp up of drilling activity and the resultant increasing well capacity beyond natural field decline.
The results were not as bright from the company’s position on the Carnarvon basin, offshore Western Australia, with gas production of 11.9 petajoules being 27% lower than in the third quarter of 2013, due to lower customer nominations as well as several large unplanned customer outages.
Santos has maintained its 2014 full-year production forecast of between 52 MMboe and 57 MMboe.