Sydney, 21 August (Argus) — Australian independent Woodside has waived its pre-emptive rights relating to Chevron's sale of its stake in the Browse LNG development to Shell, allowing for a simpler ownership structure of the development.
Shell agreed yesterday to swap its 33.3pc stakes in the Clio and Acme fields in Australia's offshore Carnarvon basin for Chevron's 16.7pc and 20pc interests in the East Browse and West Browse blocks, while paying $450mn to Chevron. The value of this deal is in line with the $2bn that Japanese trading house Mitsui and Mitsubishi (Mimi) paid Woodside for 14.7pc of the 12mn t/yr Browse project in May, according to Woodside that is the operator of Browse. The Clio and Acme discoveries are part of Chevron's Wheatstone LNG venture but were not included to supply the first two trains of the initial 8.9mn t/yr project.
Chevron had been critical of Woodside's preference for building a new LNG processing facility for Browse at the environmentally-sensitive James Price Point in the Kimberley region of Western Australia. Chevron suggested it would be better to process the Browse gas at the North West Shelf processing hub, which has many of the same joint-venture partners.
Following the deal Woodside holds 31.3pc of the $48bn Browse LNG venture, Shell around 27pc, BP 17.5pc, Mimi 14.7pc and UK-Australian resources firm BHP Billiton about 9pc. A final investment decision is scheduled for the first half of next year but may be delayed by the sheer volume of environmental appeals to be considered.
Wheatstone is scheduled to start up in 2016. Partners in the $29bn development also include US upstream independent Apache, Kuwait's state-owned KPC's upstream investment arm Kufpec, Shell and Japanese utility Kyushu Electric.
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