Japan’s Mitsui, Mitsubishi to buy Australia LNG stake for US$2b

Security guards work at the headquarters of Mitsubishi Corp in Tokyo July 7, 2009. — Reuters picSecurity guards work at the headquarters of Mitsubishi Corp in Tokyo July 7, 2009. — Reuters picSYDNEY, May 1 — Japan’s Mitsui & Co and Mitsubishi Corp have agreed to jointly buy a 14.7 per cent stake in an Australian LNG project from Woodside Petroleum for US$2 billion (RM6.08 billion) and to buy 1.5 million tonnes of gas a year from the project.

The two firms, through a company called Japan Australia LNG, have also offered assistance in getting financing for the Browse project, estimated by analyst to cost around A$30 billion (RM94.24 billion), from Japanese banks.

Woodside, which has accepted the offer, said its stake in the project will fall to 31.3 per cent from 46 per cent. It will remain the operator of the project.

The other stakeholders in the project are BHP Billiton, BP, Chevron and Shell, which have pre-emptive rights on the stake sale.

Last month, Australia gave partners in the Browse project off its western coast more time to reach a final investment decision, as attempts are made to end in-fighting and quell opposition from environmentalists and landowners. — Reuters


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