Woodside Agrees with MIMI on Conditions Governing $2B Browse Stake Sale

Australia's Woodside confirmed Wednesday in its released earnings statement that it will sell Japan Australia LNG (MIMI Browse) 16 percent interest in the East Browse joint venture and 8 percent stake in the West Browse joint venture as "all conditions precedent have been satisfied."

The sale – worth $2 billion – will give MIMI Browse an estimated 14.7 percent interest in the Browse development on an assumed unitized basis. Woodside’s assumed unitized interest in the Browse development will fall from 46 percent to 31.3 percent. 

"While the transaction is at its final stages, it is still not completed. Woodside is targeting to complete the transaction by 3Q 2012," a spokesperson representing Woodside told Rigzone through a telephone interview on Wednesday.

Woodside had also accepted an offer from MIMI for a long-term sales and purchase agreement for around 1.5 million tonnes of liquefied natural gas per year from the Browse development project subject to the completion of the equity offer, the spokesperson added. The transaction also includes a joint marketing agreement between Woodside and MIMI under which the parties will jointly market co-mingled LNG volumes to the Asian spot market.

Commenting on its partnership with MIMI, Woodside said in its statement that it looks forward to "exploring additional opportunities with Mitsui and Mitsubishi under the terms of a Memorandum of Understanding."

As of Tuesday, Woodside – as the project's operator – holds the 34-percent majority stake in East Browse. Shell Development Australia holds a 25-percent stake, while BP Developments Australia and Mitsui & Co and Mitsubishi (MIMI) hold a 16.67-percent and a 16-percent interest respectively. BHP Billiton Petroleum (North West Shelf) holds the remaining 8.33-percent stake.

In West Browse, Shell Development Australia holds the majority 35-percent stake, while BP Developments Australia and BHP Billiton Petroleum (North West Shelf) each hold a 20-percent stake. Woodside – as the operator – holds a 17-percent interest. Mitsui & Co and Mitsubishi (MIMI) hold the remaining 8-percent interest.

The Browse LNG Development will commercialize the Browse joint venture's three gas and condensate fields – Brecknock (discovered 1979), Calliance (discovered 2000) and Torosa (discovered 1971) – located 264 miles (425 kilometers) north of Broome, off the remote Kimberley coast. Gas and liquids from these offshore fields will be brought to an onshore LNG plant at the Western Australian government's Browse LNG Precinct, near James Price Point, 37 miles (60 kilometers) north of Broome. The three fields contain contingent resources of 15.5 trillion cubic feet of dry gas and 417 million barrels of oil, according to data on Woodside's website.



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