OIL and gas producer Woodside Petroleum Ltd has officially reduced its 2006 production target to 72 million barrels of oil equivalent (boe) from its previous forecast of 76 million boe. Woodside said the new target was about 5 per cent lower than the original target, but would still represent a 21 per cent increase over the previous year’s production of 59.7 million boe. The company said it had been forced to revise the target after reservoir under-performance at the Chinguetti oil field in Mauritania and construction delays at the Otway project in southern Australia. Production at the North West Shelf joint venture had also been disrupted by six cyclones earlier this year. And Woodside said the production outlook in the Gulf of Mexico had been affected by development delays caused by unusually high demand for oil and gas services following the hurricanes that lashed the US in late 2005. Chief executive Don Voelte said it was disappointing to have to revise the target and the management team had to take accountability for the outcome. “We are not happy with this result and are extremely focused on improvement,” he said. Woodside said it planned to lift production at Chinguetti and would drill up to three new production wells in coming months.
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