MELBOURNE Nov 22 Australian oil and gas
producer Santos expects to lift its oil and gas
production to between 53 million-57 million barrels of oil
equivalent in 2013, around 4 percent more than it expects to
produce this year, it said on Thursday.
The higher output will be underpinned by the start-up of the
A$490 million ($507 million) Fletcher Finucane oil field off the
coast of Western Australia in the second half of 2013, it said
in an investor presentation.
It added it was on track to start producing more than 25,000
barrels a day of oil at its Dua project in Vietnam in the first
half of 2014.
Capital spending in 2013 is forecast to rise to A$4 billion
from an expected A$3.5 billion this year as it hits peak
spending on its Gladstone liquefied natural gas project, costs
rise at its partner ExxonMobil's LNG project in Papua
New Guinea and it expands infrastructure in the Cooper Basin.
Santos played down the threat of competition from North
American gas suppliers, in contrast to a recent report by
Societe Generale saying that Australian LNG project expansions
would be hard to justify at current costs.
Santos said by 2025 there would be an LNG supply gap of 140
million tonnes a year that would need to be filled in the Asia
Pacific region even with North American supply flowing across
($1 = 0.9665 Australian dollars)
(Reporting by Sonali Paul; Editing by John Mair)