Thu, Feb 15, 2018 - Page 10 News List

Woodside raising A$2.5bn to buy stake in gas field

AFP, SYDNEY

Energy giant Woodside Petroleum Ltd yesterday said it is raising A$2.5 billion (US$1.97 billion) to fund the purchase of Exxon Mobil Corp’s stake in an Australian offshore gas field, as it seeks to benefit from an expected jump in global liquefied natural gas (LNG) demand.

The Australian-listed firm’s plans to increase its interest in the Scarborough gas field off Western Australia came as rising prices and low production costs helped it post an 18 percent jump in net profit to US$1.02 billion for last year.

Under the agreement with Exxon Mobil, Woodside would acquire the US oil and gas giant’s 50 percent holding in Scarborough to take its overall interest to 75 percent. The world’s biggest miner, BHP Billiton Ltd, owns the remaining 25 percent.

Woodside said the acquisition, set to be completed by the end of next month, would cost about US$744 million, with the remainder of the equity raised to fund the development of Scarborough and other projects such as an oilfield in Senegal.

“The acquisition of the additional interest in Scarborough provides greater alignment, control and certainty over a low-cost, high-value opportunity ahead of a global LNG supply gap,” Woodside chief Peter Coleman said.

The company said it expects global LNG demand to increase over the next few years as the energy mix shifts to gas.

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