By Robb M. Stewart

 

MELBOURNE, Australia--Woodside Petroleum Ltd. (WPL.AU) narrowed its production target for the year, flagging roughly flat output before a rebound in 2020.

In a presentation to investors, Australia's largest natural-gas producer said it now expected production for 2019 of between 89 million and 91 million barrels of oil equivalent and a jump to about 100 million next year.

As recently as mid-August, Woodside said it continued to expect production would be at the lower end of a 88 million- to 94 million-barrel range set four months earlier to account for an extended maintenance shutdown at the Pluto liquefied natural-gas operation in Western Australia. That follows 8% growth in output last year to 91.4 million barrels.

The company is targeting compound annual production growth of more than 6% between 2019 and 2028 as it moves toward final investment decision on projects including the Scarborough and Browse gas fields in Western Australia.

Chief Executive Peter Coleman said the timing was right to push ahead with plans to triple reserves, with the base climbing to about 3.71 billion barrels by 2028.

Mr. Coleman said momentum was building toward a final investment call on the Scarborough project after the recent increase to the resource volume there and a deal with partner BHP Group Ltd. (BHP.AU) on pricing processing gas from the field at the Pluto operation. The project is part of plans by Woodside to develop a seven production-line LNG processing center in Western Australia.

 

Write to Robb M. Stewart at robb.stewart@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 18, 2019 18:05 ET (23:05 GMT)

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