02/04/2015 - 15:12

Woodside closes Apache deal

02/04/2015 - 15:12

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Woodside Petroleum has completed the purchase of Apache Corporation’s interests in the Wheatstone and Balnaves projects, as speculation continues over the ownership of Apache’s remaining Australian assets.

Chevron's Wheatstone project.

Woodside Petroleum has completed the purchase of Apache Corporation’s interests in the Wheatstone and Balnaves projects, as speculation continues over the ownership of Apache’s remaining Australian assets.

Woodside said it paid a total of $US2.82 billion ($A3.71 billion) for the Apache interests.

The second leg of its agreement with Apache – the purchase of its 50 per cent stake in the Kitimat LNG project in Canada – is expected to close next week at a cost of $US854 million.

The combined purchase price is similar to the amount quoted last December, when Woodside said it would pay $US2.75 billion plus an expected closing adjustment of approximately $US1 billion.

The adjustment primarily represents a reimbursement of Apache’s expenditure on the Wheatstone and Kitimat LNG projects and net receipts from the Balnaves oil project.

The Woodside purchase comprises a 13 per cent interest in the Chevron-operated Wheatstone project, a 65 per cent interest in the Julimar-Brunello gas field, which feeds into the Wheatstone LNG plant, and a 65 per cent interest in Balnaves.

Meanwhile, Apache is continuing to seek a new owner for its other Australian assets, which include interests in the Varanus Island, Devil Creek and Macedon domestic gas plants, and the Coniston oil field off the WA coast.

The most recent official comment from the company’s CEO and president, John Christmann, was that Apache was closely evaluating the potential monetisation of its remaining non-LNG assets.

“The value of these assets is generally underpinned by long-term fixed price natural gas contracts, which we believe increases the universe of buyers and the potential valuation, even in this depressed oil price environment,” he told a conference call in February,’’ Mr Christmann said.

There has been speculation Macquarie Group is putting together a purchase proposal that includes Brookfield and the local management team.

 

 

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