ConocoPhillips to raise stake in APLNG

US energy giant ConocoPhillips said it would buy a 10 percent stake in the Australia Pacific LNG export project from Origin Energy for about $1.64 billion.

ConocoPhillips already has a 37.5 percent share in the project but it also operates the 9 mtpa LNG export facility on Curtis Island near Gladstone and the export sales business.

Origin, which recently said it would sell a 10 percent stake in the project to Energy investor EIG, operates APLNG’s gas fields and currently holds a 37.5 percent share. China’s Sinopec owns a 25 percent share in APLNG as well.

ConocoPhillips said on Wednesday that its Australian unit has notified Origin that it would exercise its preemption right to purchase up to an additional 10 percent shareholding interest in APLNG.

Also, the US firm said it would fund the deal from cash on the balance sheet, subject to customary adjustments.

Upon closing and if the other relevant APLNG shareholder does not exercise its preemption rights, ConocoPhillips would own 47.5 percent of APLNG, it said.

ConocoPhillips’ full-year 2020 production from APLNG reached about 115 Mboed, and full-year 2021 distributions would reach about $750 million. However, this excludes distributions resulting from any additional shareholding interest arising from preemption, the firm said.

The company expects the transaction to close in the first quarter of 2022, subject to Australian government approval.

Indonesia sale

Besides this deal, ConocoPhillips also said it has entered into an agreement to sell the subsidiary that indirectly owns the company’s 54 percent interest in the Indonesia Corridor block PSC and a 35 percent shareholding interest in the Transasia Pipeline Company.

The sale to MedcoEnergi for $1.35 billion remains subject to customary adjustments.

ConocoPhillips expects this deal to close in early 2022.

“The Asia Pacific region plays an important role in our diversification advantage as an independent E&P and these two transactions enhance that advantage by lowering our aggregate decline rate and diversifying our product mix,” Ryan Lance, ConocoPhillips chairman and chief executive officer, said.

“We are also pleased to have the opportunity to effectively deploy the proceeds from the sale of our Indonesia assets toward additional shareholding interest in APLNG, which supplies LNG to long-term buyers in both China and Japan and is currently the largest supplier of natural gas to Australia’s East coast domestic market, meeting over 30 percent of its total demand,” he said.

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