Woodside denies major Browse sell-down

Woodside Petroleum denies it is looking to sell a major part of its stake in the proposed Browse basin liquefied natural gas project, but has confirmed it is evaluating the potential sale of a minority portion of the development.

Woodside released a statement to the ASX today saying it had received significant interest from a number of parties about taking a stake in the $US30 billion ($A28 billion) development in the Kimberley region.

As a result, the company was conducting a limited process to assess the potential sale of a minority of its 50 per cent stake in the development, Woodside said.

But, it said, it had not made any decision to reduce its stake in the Browse development at this time.

Media reports had suggested Woodside had begun an auction process for the majority of its 50 per cent Browse stake.

Other stakeholders in the Browse project are BHP Billiton, BP, Chevron and Shell.

Woodside in December said a final decision to proceed with Browse would likely be delayed by up to a year.

That prompted it to deny claims it was having doubts about building a gas processing plant for the project.

The project has divided the community around Broome, with a court ruling last year that the compulsory acquisition by the WA government of land from native title claimants for the hub was invalid, but the government sees that as a technicality.


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