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Australia's Santos lowers 2013 production outlook to 51 mmboe

SYDNEY, Dec 4 (Reuters) - Santos Ltd, Australia's No. 2 energy company, said its 2013 production would come in slightly below its earlier forecast, but added its major LNG projects were on track to start producing in the next two years.

Santos said its 2013 production was now expected to be about 51 million barrels of oil equivalent (mmboe), rising to 52-57 mmboe in 2014 as the massive PNG LNG project with Exxon Mobil in Papua New Guinea comes onstream in the second half.

In October, Santos had flagged that 2013 production would come in near the bottom of its 52-57 mmboe forecast due to deferred production from its Fletcher Finucane project.

Santos said it expected capital expenditure of A$4 billion in 2013, falling to A$3.5 billion in 2014.