Woodside Q1 production lifts

Production, revenue increase during the March quarter in line with expectations.

Woodside Petroleum (WPL) has reported a 5% lift in production in the March quarter, in line with market expectations, while sales and revenue also rose.

Woodside reported production of 23.0 million barrels of oil equivalent (MMboe) in the three months to March 31, compared with 21.9 MMboe in the previous corresponding period.

A Bloomberg survey of three analysts provided a median forecast of 22.9 Mmboe.

Sales lifted by 6.9% to 23.2 MMboe in the quarter, from 21.7 MMboe in the previous corresponding period.

Woodside attributed the lift in production and sales to the restart of the Vincent oil project.

Revenue rose by 15.9% to $US1.675 billion ($A1.785 billion), compared with $US1.445 billion in the March 2013 quarter.

The Bloomberg survey predicted revenue of $US1.7 billion.

The lift in revenue was mainly due to additional oil volumes sold and higher realised prices for liquefied natural gas from the Pluto project.

Talks continue with joint venture partners and the Israeli government over the Leviathan gas field project, Woodside said.

This follows the signing of a memorandum of understanding on the project in February, although Woodside noted that the parties have not executed the agreements contemplated in the memorandum.

Earlier, media reports suggested Woodside was close to a compromise with the Israeli government over tax arrangements for the project.

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