Woodside cuts production outlook on Pluto problems

Woodside Energy has extended the gas turnaround at its Pluto LNG facility in Western Australia, with restart of production now targeted for the end of June.

The Pluto LNG turnaround was completed on schedule after a planned maintenance, but the mixed refrigerant compressor has experienced vibration on restart.

Woodside has accordingly lowered its expectations on the 2019 production guidance to the lower end of the 88–94 million barrels of oil equivalent.

The company has made arrangements to meet obligations to its customers, including the purchase of third party cargoes.

Woodside is focused on supplying trucked LNG to mining operations and communities in the Pilbara, Kimberley and elsewhere in WA for power generation.

Around three billion litres of diesel are imported into the Pilbara every year, mainly for the mining industry, according to Woodside chief operations officer Meg O’Neill.

Woodside has also secured 15-year sales agreements with its Pluto LNG joint venture partners Kansai Electric and Tokyo Gas, which each holds a five per cent stake in the project.

The restart problem comes just as Woodside is moving closer to its proposed brownfield expansion of the Pluto LNG facility, which will integrate a second Pluto train and include the large, undeveloped gas resources from the Scarborough gas field.

Woodside has targeted front-end engineering and design (FEED) entry in the first quarter of 2019 and a final investment decision in 2020, with the train scheduled for start-up in 2024.

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