April 30, 2018 / 1:07 AM / 25 days ago

UPDATE 1-Australia's Origin Energy's March-quarter revenue from APLNG project jumps 27 pct

* March-quarter revenue from APLNG hits A$491.9 mln ($372.6 mln)

* Looking to restart exploration at Beetaloo Basin shale gas field (Adds detail, background)

April 30 (Reuters) - Origin Energy Ltd, Australia’s top power and gas retailer, on Monday said that its stake in the Australia Pacific LNG project (APLNG) recorded a 27 percent jump in quarterly production revenue, boosted by higher production and prices.

The company also said it was looking in 2019 to restart exploration and appraisal activity in the Beetaloo Basin shale gas field, which it says contains 6.6 trillion cubic feet of contingent reserves, weeks after Australia’s Northern Territory lifted a nearly two-year moratorium on fracking to extract gas.

The firm’s revenue from APLNG during the three months to March 31 rose to A$491.9 million ($372.6 million) from A$385.3 million a year ago thanks to increased LNG sales and higher prices, Origin said.

That excludes revenue from production from Lattice Energy. Origin completed its sale of Lattice Energy gas assets to Beach Energy in January, a move that helped cut its debt.

Production for the quarter rose 10 percent to 62.7 petajoules equivalent (PJe), from a year earlier.

APLNG is a joint venture between Origin, ConocoPhillips and China Petroleum & Chemical Corp (Sinopec).

Earlier this year, the company said its half-year underlying profit more than tripled on the back of soaring energy prices, leading it to upgrade its earnings forecast for energy markets.

$1 = 1.3203 Australian dollars Reporting by Chris Thomas in Bengaluru; Editing by Richard Pullin and Joseph Radford

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