Australia's largest oil and gas company, Woodside Petroleum, on Aug. 15 posted a smaller half-year profit and cut its interim dividend, mainly due to extended maintenance period at its Pluto LNG facility, which led to production delays.

It said profit was also hurt by disruptions to certain operations from tropical cyclone Victoria and due to its Ngujima-Yin facility in Western Australia staying offline for sometime.

The 65-year-old oil and gas explorer reported net profit of $419 million for the half-year ended June 30 compared with $541 million a year earlier.

The prolonged maintenance at its Pluto LNG facility due to technical issues had resulted in the company reporting a sharp drop in its second-quarter revenue last month, its first decline in six quarters.

For the full year, Woodside slightly lowered the upper end of its investment expenditure forecast to $1.55 billion, about 9% less than earlier estimated.

Woodside is at the forefront of LNG investments in Australia with its Scarborough and Browse projects, aiming to make final investment decisions in 2020.

CEO Peter Coleman said in a statement that the company is on track to achieve the target annual production of around 100 million barrels of oil equivalent in 2020.

He said the company expects first oil from the Greater Enfield reservoirs in Western Australia to flow in August 2019, adding that the project would be a key contributor to Woodside's 2020 annual production goal.

With major economies such as China and Japan increasingly pledging to reduce carbon impact, demand for LNG is set to rise and Australia has been ramping up its infrastructure to meet that.

Woodside also cut its interim dividend to 36 cents per share, compared with 53 cents a year earlier.