* Targets 89-94 mmboe output in 2014
* Q2 production rose to 23.5 mmboe
* Sticks to 80 pct payout ratio for interim dividend
* Expects to book small loss on asset sales
(Adds dividend, asset sales outlook)
SYDNEY, July 17 Woodside Petroleum Ltd,
Australia's largest independent oil and gas producer, reported
an 18 percent rise in second-quarter production on Thursday and
raised its output target slightly for 2014.
Woodside said it aims to produce between 89 and 94 million
barrels of oil equivalent (mmboe) this year, up from an earlier
target of 86-93 mmboe.
June quarter production rose to 23.5 mmboe, from 20.0 mmboe
a year ago and 23 mmboe in the first quarter.
Revenue was $1.679 billion, up 25 percent on a year ago.
Some analysts and investors have raised questions about
where the next phase of Woodside's growth will come from after
it walked away from a deal to buy into Israel's massive
Leviathan field and opted to spend $2.9 billion buying back its
own shares from Royal Dutch Shell.
The buyback needs shareholder approval at a meeting on
August 1. Assuming it is cleared, the company said it would pay
out 80 percent of underlying profit for its first-half dividend,
in line with the payout ratio if flagged a year ago.
Woodside, which recently announced two deals to buy U.S. LNG
to help it supply Asian customers, says it has a strong enough
balance sheet to pursue growth even after the buyback.
In its effort to build reserves and expand into frontier
areas, it recently picked up exploration stakes in Tanzania and
in deep water off Morocco.
Woodside warned on Thursday it would book a loss of $20
million to $40 million on the sale of oil and gas properties and
exploration assets in the half year.
(Reporting by Lincoln Feast and Sonali Paul; Editing by Paul
Tait and Richard Pullin)