Woodside Petroleum slides on lowered production guidance

Woodside Petroleum has plunged the most in 20 months after cutting its guidance for the number of barrels of oil it will produce for 2012-13.

Woodside Petroleum has plunged the most in 20 months after cutting its production guidance for 2012-13.

The oil and gas operator extended earlier losses, diving by 4.2% to $34.40 at 1418 AEST after announcing that it now anticipates it will produce between 85 million and 89 million barrels of oil equivalent (MMboe), down from the previous target's range of between 84 and 94 MMboe (see Woodside's yield growth challenge by Tim Treadgold).

Woodside cited two reasons for its lowered guidance: the temporary interruption to the Pluto gas field because of the unplanned shutdown of a LNG processing train, with production recommencing "shortly"; and the delayed refurbishment of the Vincent floating production storage and offloading vessel, which is expected to resume production in October this year.

The stock has generated a total return of 15.8% over the past 12 months compared with a 20% total return from the S&P/ASX 200 Index.