Woodside Petroleum Ltd, Australia's second-largest oil and gas producer, has found more gas near to its key Pluto export project, a discovery which could support the project's swift expansion.
The results, while preliminary, could bring Woodside a step closer to its aim of expanding the A$ 12 billion Australian dollar ($7.74 billion) Pluto liquefied natural gas (LNG) project in western Australia -- a key development for Woodside as it refocuses its business on LNG.
Woodside said on Tuesday that wireline logs at the Martell-1 exploration well, located in permit WA-404-P in western Australia, indicate a gross gas column of about 110 metres.
The well is about 290 kilometres from the oil and gas town of Karratha in western Australia and 100 kilometres north-west of the Pluto gas field -- which is providing gas for the Pluto LNG processing plant.
The firm has in recent months been seeking additional gas resources to feed a proposed second production train at Pluto, but several wells drilled last year have turned up dry.
Shares in Woodside rose as much as 2.6 percent to A$33.62 by 0307 GMT, outperforming a 1.26 percent decline in the broader S&P/ASX 200 index.
Woodside is the operator of the WA-404-P permit and has a 50 equity interest, while U.S.-based Hess Corp owns the rest.
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