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Woodside extends Pluto LNG maintenance after restart issues

Australia’s Woodside Petroleum has extended a planned maintenance at its Pluto liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant after technical problems when restarting production.

“The Pluto LNG turnaround was completed as planned but the mixed refrigerant compressor has experienced vibration on restart,” the company said in a filing to the Australian stock exchange ASX on Tuesday.

As a result, it has begun further activities that will extend the turnaround, with the aim of restarting production at the end of June.

The oil and gas producer said that it has made arrangements to meet obligations to its customers, including the purchase of third-party cargoes.

Due to the extension of the maintenance, the company expects its production this year to be at the lower end of the 88 to 94 million barrels of oil equivalent guidance range, it said.

The production curb comes as Royal Dutch Shell on Tuesday shipped its first cargo from the Prelude floating LNG plant off northwest Australia.

With Asian LNG spot prices at a three-year low, the extension of Pluto LNG maintenance is unlikely to have a big impact, industry sources said. (Reporting by Shriya Ramakrishnan in Bengaluru and Jessica Jaganathan in SINGAPORE, editing by Richard Pullin)

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