Japan JV Acquires Stake in Sole Field Offshore Australia

Tokyo Gas Company and Mitsubishi Corp. have formed a joint venture to purchase a 30 percent stake in the Sole gas field off the southern coast of Australia. The stake was bought by Trinity Gas Resources Pty Ltd from OMV Australia Pty Ltd, whose share has been reduced to 35 percent, Tokyo Gas said. The remaining 35 percent is held by Santos Ltd.

Production of natural gas is expected to commence in 2005. Tokyo Gas expects to invest approximately $85.2 million in the project.

Tokyo Gas plans to process the gas from the Sole field, which has an estimated gas reserve of about five billion cubic meters, at a plant built for the nearby Particia Baleen gas project. The gas will be sold in Australia, and is not planned for export to Japan.

Tokyo Gas has a 25 percent interest in the joint venture, while Mitsubishi Corp holds the rest.