Pluto LNG shutdown impacts Woodside production

Woodside has downgraded its annual production estimates after a technical glitch forced the temporary shutdown of its Pluto LNG plant.

Woodside said it now expected output for the year to Dec. 31 to range between 85 million and 89 million barrels of oil equivalent compared with a previous guidance of between 88 million and 94 million.

Woodside said production at the Pluto LNG plant in Western Australia was interrupted by an unplanned shutdown of its LNG processing train.

"It is expected production will recommence shortly," the company said in a statement.

It also said a scheduled refurbishment of an offshore storage and offloading vessel was taking longer than expected, adding to production downgrades. Woodside said production at the site would recommence in October.

Pluto LNG is an offshore platform connected to five subsea wells on the Pluto gas field.

Gas is piped in a 180km trunkline to the onshore facility, located between the North West Shelf Project and Dampier Port on the Burrup Peninsula.

Onshore infrastructure is made up of a single LNG processing train with a forecast production capacity of 4.3 million tonnes a year.

In May Woodside announced plans to restart gas exploration as part of a plan to expand its $15 billion flagship Pluto LNG project.

The oil and energy giant said it will implement two drill rigs to explore waters near Pluto in early 2014, targeting up to eight natural gas prospects.

Woodside wants to expand Pluto because existing infrastructure makes it cheaper to add on extra LNG processing units than starting new developments.

Earlier this year the company scrapped plans to develop their $45 billion Browse development hub at James Price Point.

The company have instead opted to develop the gas through floating LNG.