Woodside boosts FY guidance

Petroleum company expects increase in production on the back of strong Q2 performance.

Woodside Petroleum has boosted its full-year production guidance on the back of a strong lift in second quarter production and sales revenue.

In the second quarter, Woodside produced 23.5 million barrels of oil equivalent (MMboe), a 17.5% increase on the 20 MMboe produced in the second quarter of 2013.

Sales in the period came to 21.5 MMboe, a 6.4% increase on the previous corresponding period's 20.2 MMboe.

As a result, sales revenue in the quarter soared to $US1.679 billion ($A1.79bn), a 24.8% lift on the $US1.345bn posted in the second quarter of 2013.

The petroleum production and exploration company now expects full-year production in a range between 89 MMboe and 94 MMboe, a slight increase on the previously advised 86 MMboe to 93 MMboe target range.

Woodside said its second quarter production and sales volumes were aided by reliable production at its Pluto gas field in Western Australia's Carnarvon Basin.

The re-start of the floating production storage and offloading vessel (FPSO) at its Vincent oil field off the coast of Western Australia also helped.

Sales revenue for the quarter benefited from additional oil volumes sold from Vincent and higher prices for Pluto LNG, as well as a rise in the price of Brent oil.

Woodside said it expects its first half LNG processing revenue would be between $90 million and $100 million, before tax.

It also expects a pre-tax loss of $20-$40 million on the sale of non-core assets during the half.

During the quarter Shell sold sold 78.3 million Woodside shares through an underwritten sell-down to institutional investors at $41.35 per share. Shell's stake will decrease further -- to 4.5%-- pending the completion of a share buy-back by Woodside of an identical 9.5% stake. Each transaction represents 9.5% of Woodside's total issued share capital, for a total of 19%.

The selective share buy-back is subject to shareholder approval at an extraordinary general meeting to be held on August 1.

Subject to the successful completion of the buy-back Woodside intends that the 2014 interim dividend be calculated as 80 per cent of underlying profit, divided by the post buy-back number of shares on issue.