ConocoPhillips completes $1.64 billion deal to boost APLNG stake

US energy giant ConocoPhillips said it has completed the purchase of an additional 10 percent shareholding interest in the Australia Pacific LNG export project from Origin Energy for about $1.64 billion.

ConocoPhillips now has a 47.5 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 Energy, which previously said it would sell a 10 percent stake in the project to Energy investor EIG, operates APLNG’s gas fields and now holds a 27.5 percent share. China’s Sinopec owns a 25 percent share in APLNG as well.

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

This followed the announcement by Origin to sell the stake to EIG.

ConocoPhillips expects $1.8 billion of APLNG distributions this year

After customary closing adjustments, cash paid for the additional interest is about $1.4 billion (A$2 billion), ConocoPhillips said in a statement on Thursday, adding that it funded the stake buy from cash on the company’s balance sheet.

Based on the new 47.5 percent ownership interest and a full-year average Brent price of $78 per barrel, ConocoPhillips would expect approximately $1.8 billion of distributions from APLNG in 2022, with roughly $0.5 billion expected in the first quarter.

ConocoPhillips’ full-year 2021 production from APLNG was 113 thousand barrels of oil equivalent per day and full-year 2021 financial distributions were approximately $750 million.

The APLNG project recently shipped its 700th cargo since its start in 2016.

“We are pleased to acquire this additional stake in APLNG, which throughout its six years of operations has served as a reliable and efficient supplier of natural gas to the growing Asia Pacific market, and to Australia’s East Coast gas market,” said Ryan Lance, ConocoPhillips CEO.

“With the global energy transition underway, we expect LNG to play an increasingly important role, as it is lower in greenhouse gas emissions intensity than other alternatives. At the same time, this strategic acquisition of an additional shareholding interest in APLNG further diversifies our product mix while lowering our aggregate decline rate,” he said.

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