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Santos hits record sales as  gas price spikes
Santos hits record sales as gas price spikes

Oil and gas company Santos has maintained its full year forecasts and achieved record quarterly sales revenue due to a steep increase in the gas price.

Santos lifted its third quarter production as the gas price shot up 19 per cent amid record production at the Carnarvon Basin.

"The third quarter demonstrates the growth in our base business," Santos chief executive David Knox said today.

"The quarter also stands out for the highest quarterly sales revenue in the company's history."

Santos produced 13.5 million barrels of oil equivalent (mmboe) in the three months to September 30, up six per cent from 12.7 mmboe in the previous corresponding period.

The company also maintained its guidance of full year production in the range of 51 mmboe to 55 mmboe.

Capital expenditure in the year is expected to total $3.5 billion, down from the previous guidance of $3.75 billion, due to the timing of spending on the Gladstone liquefied natural gas and Gunnedah coal seam gas projects, Santos said.

Santos said sales revenue of $851 million for the September quarter was 15 per cent higher due to higher sales volumes and higher gas prices.

Sales revenue of $2.3 billion for the 2012 year-to-date is also a record.

The average gas price of $5.46 gigajoule was up 19 per cent on the corresponding period.

This was mainly due to higher Indonesian gas prices, the commencement of production from Reindeer in the Carnarvon Basin and stronger liquefied natural gas sales volumes from Darwin LNG.

Gas production of 58 petajoules was three per cent above the previous corresponding period, Santos said.

Santos has oil and gas development and exploration interests across Australia and Asia.

The company's Gladstone LNG project in Qld converts coal seam gas into liquefied natural gas.

Santos shares were one cent weaker at $11.79.

The West Australian

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