* Woodside Q3 output jumps 65 pct, revenue up 39 pct
* Woodside sees $974 mln profit on Browse stake sale
* Santos maintains 2012 output forecast
* Santos Q3 output up 6 pct, revenue up 15 pct
SYDNEY, Oct 18 Australia's top oil and gas
company, Woodside Petroleum Ltd, raised its 2012
production target as much as 8 percent on Thursday thanks to
stronger output than expected from its flagship A$14.9 billion
Pluto gas project.
Rival Santos, Australia's no.2 oil and gas
producer, maintained its output forecast but cut its capital
spending guidance by 7 percent to $3.5 billion, partly due to
changes in the timing of some work on its $18.5 billion
Gladstone liquefied natural gas project.
Woodside posted a 65 percent rise in third-quarter
production to 26.5 million barrels of oil equivalent (mmboe),
which drove third-quarter revenue up 39 percent to $1.8 billion.
The company's cash hoard is building with Pluto up and
running and following its recent sale of a stake in the Browse
LNG project to Japan's Mitsui & Co and Mitsubishi Corp
for $2 billion, on which it said it expects to book a
profit of $974 million.
"With strong cash flows and the completion of the $2 billion
sale of a minority portion of Woodside's interest in the
proposed Browse LNG development, Woodside's balance sheet
continues to strengthen," Chief Executive Peter Coleman said in
The company increased its full year production guidance to
83 to 86 mmboe, up from the 77 to 83 mmboe it forecast in its
June quarterly report.
Santos reported a 6 percent rise in third-quarter production
to 13.5 million mmboe, and booked a 15 percent rise in sales
revenue to a record A$851 million, driven partly by higher gas
It reaffirmed it expects to produce 51 to 55 mmboe this year
and said its Gladstone LNG project remains on track to start
producing in 2015.
Woodside shares rose 3.6 percent in early trade to A$35.63,
while Santos added 1.4 percent to A$11.96, both outpacing a 1
percent rise in the broader market.
(Reporting by Sonali Paul and James Regan; Editing by Richard