THE EXIT of US oil and gas producer Apache Corporation from Australian operations has concluded, with a consortium of private equity group acquiring the outstanding portion of the company’s Australian portfolio.
Woodside agreed in December to acquire Apache’s 13 per cent stake in the Chevron-operated Wheatstone project and 65% stakes in both the Julimar-Brunello upstream gas development and the Balnaves oil project.
The stakes were acquired for a total cost of US$2.817 billion, including a closing adjustment of US$567 million, representing the reimbursement of Apache’s net expenditures in the Wheatstone LNG project, changes in working capital and net receipts from the Balnaves oil project.
Woodside also acquired a 50% stake in the Kitimat LNG project in Canada for US$854 million, including US$354 million in adjustments.
Woodside said the stake, which includes about 129,500 hectares in the Horn River and Liard basins, added a growth option in an emerging LNG province to Woodside’s development portfolio.
The remaining assets, including stakes the Apache-operated gas fields of Reindeer, John Brookes and Halyard-Spar and the non-operated interest in the BHP Billiton operated Macedon field, were acquired by a consortium of private equity funds managed by Brookfield Asset Management and Macquarie Capital for US$2.1 billion.
This acquisition will form the foundations of a new intermediate oil and gas producer established by the Brookfield and Macquarie Capital Consortium, the groups said.
The portfolio also comprises Apache’s interest in operated oilfields at Coniston-Novara, Van Gogh and Stag and the non-operated interest in the BHP Billiton operated Pyrenees area, its upstream acreage in the Carnarvon, Exmouth and Canning basins and its interests in gas processing facilities and associated infrastructure at Devil Creek, Varanus Island and Macedon.
The group, which will be jointly managed and owned by Brookfield and Macquarie, has signed a long term gas supply agreement with Alcoa Australia for the initial supply of 120 terajoules per day of natural gas, commencing in 2020.
Apache Australia chief executive Brett Darley will manage the new company, saying he was excited to lead the transformation of Apache’s Australian assets and interests.
“With a record of exploration and production excellence spanning more than two decades in Australia, our people are well placed for this important new chapter as a significant Australian oil and domestic gas company,” he said.