ConocoPhillips in APLNG move

US energy giant ConocoPhillips revealed plans on Monday to become upstream operator of Australia Pacific LNG following the closing of EIG’s transaction with Origin Energy.

ConocoPhillips has a 47.5 percent share in the APLNG project and operates the 9 mtpa LNG export facility on Curtis Island near Gladstone, while Origin owns a 22.5 percent stake and is the upstream operator.

China’s Sinopec owns a 25 percent share in APLNG as well.

Canada’s Brookfield Asset Management and a unit of US-based energy investor EIG recently sent a revised takeover offer to Origin last month and the two firms announced a binding deal on Monday.

Under this deal, Brookfield will acquire Origin’s energy markets business, while EIG’s MidOcean Energy will take over Origin’s integrated gas business, including its stake in APLNG.

ConocoPhillips said in a statement on Monday that its unit in Australia plans to become upstream operator of APLNG, while it has also agreed to purchase up to an additional 2.49 percent shareholding interest in APLNG for $0.5 billion.

Upon closing, the US energy firm would own up to 49.99 percent of APLNG.

Both the assumption of upstream operatorship and the shareholding acquisition are dependent on EIG closing its transaction with Origin, ConocoPhillips said.

EIG’s transaction with Origin and ConocoPhillips’ shareholding acquisition are subject to Australian regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions, it said.

Transaction to close in early 2024

ConocoPhillips expects this transaction to close in early 2024.

The company’s full-year 2022 production from APLNG was about 136 thousand barrels of oil equivalent per day.

Andy O’Brien, senior vice president, global operations at ConocoPhillips, welcomed the opportunity to become upstream operator and increase the company’s ownership in APLNG.

He said that Origin pioneered the development of coal seam gas into LNG and has contributed to APLNG’s status as “a safe and dependable LNG supplier.”

“We look forward to leveraging our global upstream expertise to further enhance APLNG as a world-class integrated LNG operation,” O’Brien said.

He added that APLNG is currently the largest supplier of natural gas to Australia’s East Coast domestic market, meeting between 20-30 percent of its total demand, and the project will continue supplying LNG customers in China and Japan.

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