MELBOURNE, Jan 16 (Reuters) - Woodside Petrolem, Australia’s largest independent oil and gas producer, reported a 7 percent fall in revenue in 2013, slightly worse than market forecasts, while annual production was in line with the company’s outlook.
Annual revenue fell to $5.78 billion from $6.22 billion compared with analysts’ forecasts around $5.86 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Production rose to 87 million barrels of oil equivalent (mmboe), matching Woodside’s forecast for a 2.5 percent rise from 2012. It reaffirmed it expects 2014 output to be between 86 and 93 mmboe.
Fourth quarter output was 23.2 mmmboe, down 4.5 percent from a year earlier.
After booking strong production growth in 2012, thanks to its Pluto liquefied natural gas project, the company is now looking for new sources of growth, with its Browse LNG project delayed as it considers building a floating LNG plant.
One potential new investment is the Leviathan gas field off Israel, but more than a year after announcing it would invest $1.25 billion for a 30 percent stake in the project it has yet to finalise a deal, amid speculation it may have to pay more.
Woodside said it expects to conclude talks with the Leviathan joint venture companies by the end of June, pending a decision by Israel on its tax policy for gas exports.
The company warned it would book writedowns of around $380-$400 million on the carrying values of some of its oil and gas fields when it reports results for 2013 on Feb. 19.
Reporting by Sonali Paul; Editing by Richard Pullin