(Adds managing director comments, expected production costs)
July 18 (Reuters) - Australia’s Oil Search Ltd said on Tuesday its second quarter output had slipped from the previous quarter due to maintenance, but production in June at its main asset, the PNG LNG project, had hit a record rate.
The Papua New Guinea-focused company said liquefied natural gas production from the PNG LNG project reached 8.65 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) in June, 25 percent above nameplate capacity, continuing a strong run for the plant operated by ExxonMobil Corp.
ExxonMobil is marketing 1.3 mtpa of extra LNG output on behalf of all the owners, which could take total contracted volumes from the plant to 7.9 mtpa, Oil Search Managing Director Peter Botten said.
“Strong interest has been shown from potential customers for the additional LNG volumes,” Botten said.
PNG LNG’s existing long term customers include China’s Sinopec, Osaka Gas Company, Tokyo Electric Power Co and Taiwan’s CPC Corp.
Oil Search reported production of 7.24 million barrels of oil equivalent (mmboe) for the quarter ended June, down from 7.57 mmboe for the quarter ended March 30, due to maintenance activities at its operated facilities and at the PNG LNG plant.
It still expects to produce between 28.5 mmboe and 30.5 mmboe in 2017.
Total revenue for the quarter fell to $332.5 million from $343.7 million in the previous quarter.
The oil and gas explorer said it expects production costs for the six months to June to be in the lower half of its full year guidance range of $8-$10 per barrel of oil equivalent. Second half costs are likely to be higher due to the timing of major work programmes.
Reporting by Susan Mathew in Bengaluru; Editing by Richard Pullin