WOODSIDE has upgraded its full-year production target for 2014 on the back of another strong quarter dominated by a bolstered operational performance.
The Australian energy company produced 23.5 million barrels of oil equivalent (MMboe) in the second quarter, up 2.2 per cent on the first three months of the year.
Woodside said the improvment was due to higher LNG volumes produced from Pluto.
Production was also significantly higher in comparaison to the previous corresponding year, jumping 17.5% to 23.5 MMboe.
While Woodside isn’t scheduled to release its half-year results until 20 August, the company provided some preliminary half-year figures which revealed LNG processing revenues are tipped to be between US$90 million and US$100 million.
The company also expects to book a loss of between US$20 million and US$40 million for the six months to 30 June, following the sale of a slew of non-core assets.
Sales volumes for the second quarter had dropped to to 21.5 MMboe, down 7.3% compared to the first quarter of 2014, which Woodside attributed to “timing of shipments.”
The company still managed to increase sales revenue by 0.2% to US$1.68 billion, reflecting higher LNG realised pricing and higher oil sales. The average Brent price during the quarter was US$109.76 a barrel.
As a result of Woodside’s strong operating performance for the quarter, the company announced it had revised its production target range to 84 to 94 MMboe, up from the previous guidance of between 86MMboe and 93 MMboe.
“This reflects strong operating performance with production on or above plan,” the company said.
At Browse, development activities during the quarter were focused on continuing basis of design work for the proposed use of floating liquefied natural gas technology at the project.
The BOD phase is expected to put the Browse joint venture participants in a position to consider the front-end engineering and design phase of the development sometime in the second half of 2014.
Over at the North West Shelf, the Persephone development continued FEED activities with a final investment decision planned before the end of the year.
Persephone is set to be the next major gas development for the North West Shelf project and involves a subsea tieback to the North Rankin Complex.
During the quarter, the A$2.5 billion Greater Western Flank Phase 1 project completed fabrication and pipeline installation, with subsea installation expected to be finalised in the fourth quarter. Woodside said the project remained on budget and on schedule for start-up in early 2016.
But Woodside’s biggest news for the quarter came on the corporate front with the signing of a binding buy-back agreement with Shell. The deal involves the purchase of 78.3 million Woodside shares from Shell via a selective buy-back consideration of US$2.68 billion.
Completion of the buy-back is now only subject to Woodside shareholder approval at an extraordinary general meeting which has been set for 1 August.