EIG’s MidOcean buys Peru LNG stake from SK

MidOcean Energy, the LNG unit of US-based energy investor EIG, has purchased a stake in LNG terminal operator Peru LNG from a unit of South Korean conglomerate SK.

SK Earthon, a unit of SK Innovation, said in a statement on Thursday it has agreed to sell its share in Peru LNG to MidOcean for about $256.5 million.

The firm said it will use the proceeds to fund future growth businesses.

SK Innovation holds a 20 percent stake in Peru LNG, the same as LNG giant Shell that also offtakes all of the volumes from the 4.4 mtpa LNG plant at Pampa Melchorita.

US-based Hunt Oil holds a 50 percent operating stake in the LNG plant, while Japan’s Marubeni has a 10 percent stake in Peru LNG.

Peru LNG has increased its exports last year compared to the year before, and it also expects to boost the number of shipments in 2024.

The terminal loaded 55 vessels in 2023, compared to 51 vessels in 2022.

Peru LNG said that the main destinations in 2023 were United Kingdom and South Korea, and also Japan, China, Spain, France, Netherlands, and Canada.

It expects to load 60 vessels in 2024.

MidOcean building LNG portfolio

EIG also confirmed later on Thursday in a separate statement that MidOcean has entered into a definitive agreement with SK Earthon to acquire SK’s 20 percent interest in Peru LNG.

The transaction remains subject to customary closing conditions.

“We’re excited about this acquisition as it reflects another notable step in MidOcean’s strategy to create a global, diversified, and resilient LNG portfolio,” De la Rey Venter, MidOcean CEO, said.

“PLNG is an asset we know and admire, with sound long-term fundamentals, a strong management team and reliable operations,” he said.

MidOcean is working to significantly expand its business and last year energy behemoth Saudi Aramco agreed to buy a minority stake in the firm.

Back in 2022, MidOcean entered into a definitive agreement with Japan’s Tokyo Gas to buy the latter’s interests in a portfolio of four Australian integrated LNG projects.

These include Chevron’s Gorgon LNG, the Inpex-led Ichthys LNG, Woodside’s Pluto LNG, and Shell’s Queensland Curtis LNG project.

Inpex recently said it has exercised its preemptive rights to acquire Tokyo Gas’s participating interest in Ichthys LNG.

EIG said in the statement that MidOcean is in the process of completing its acquisition of Tokyo Gas’ interests in four Australian LNG projects, which is targeted to close at the end of February.

Besides this deal, shareholders of Australia’s Origin rejected in December a takeover bid by a consortium consisting of Canada’s Brookfield Asset Management and MidOcean.

Under this deal, MidOcean would have owned Origin’s integrated gas segment including its upstream gas interests and the 27.5 percent stake in Australia Pacific LNG (APLNG).

(Updated with a statement by EIG.)

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