Santos Tightens Output, Sales Targets

By Robb M. Stewart Features Dow Jones Newswires

MELBOURNE, Australia--Santos Ltd. (STO.AU) narrowed its production and sales targets for the year after what it said had been a strong performance in the latest quarter.

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The oil-and-gas company lifted the floor on earlier guidance ranges, forecasting output of between 58 million and 60 million barrels of oil equivalent and sales volumes of 79 million-82 million barrels, where it had earlier aimed for production in a 57 million-60 million window and sales of at least 77 million barrels.

In the third quarter, the Australian company produced 15 million barrels, a rise of 2% on the prior quarter. For the nine months through September, output was 4% lower than a year ago at 44.5 million barrels.

Sales for the recent quarter were steady at 21.5 million barrels, but revenue was 3% higher at US$793 million. For the nine months, sales volumes were down by 1% at 61.6 million barrels but thanks to higher prices sales revenue jumped 225 to US$2.25 billion.

Santos has tied its future to the GLNG liquefied natural gas operation on Australia's east coast that counts Total SA (TOT) among its partners, the Exxon Mobil Corp.-led (XOM) PNG LNG operation in Papua New Guinea and projects in northern Australia, Western Australia, and the Cooper Basin straddling South Australia and Queensland states.

The company said drilling activity had increased in both the Cooper Basin and GLNG, with 16 Cooper and 53 GLNG wells completed in the quarter.

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

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 18, 2017 18:47 ET (22:47 GMT)