AWE Expects Bids From Potential Partners in Indonesia Project

AWE Ltd. (AWE) expects bids in the next couple of weeks from potential partners to buy as much as half of an oil project off Indonesia that the Australian energy explorer estimates may cost more than $600 million.

AWE plans to complete a deal for a stake in the Ande Ande Lumut development in Indonesia by the end of September, Bruce Clement, managing director of Sydney-based AWE, said in a phone interview. The company yesterday deferred a final investment decision until the first half of 2014.

“A number of interested parties are doing due diligence,” he said yesterday, declining to name any of the possible bidders. “The interest is coming from mid-cap oil and gas companies with capable balance sheets and an Asian strategy.”

AWE hired Credit Suisse Group AG earlier this year to find a partner in Indonesia as it looks at bidding on further assets across Asia. The company last year acquired two Indonesian oil blocks from Malaysia’s Genting Bhd. (GENT), including Ande Ande Lumut, and in May boosted the estimate for the project’s recoverable oil by 33 percent to 101 million barrels.

The project is expected to cost more than an earlier $600 million estimate, Clement said, declining to give an updated budget projection.

AWE is pushing back the investment decision on the Indonesian venture to next year because of a delay in contracting plans for the floating production vessel, it said yesterday in a statement.

The company expected to complete the process to find an investor for the Ande Ande Lumut venture by mid-year and to decide in the third quarter whether to go ahead with the project, Clement said in January.

To contact the reporter on this story: James Paton in Sydney at jpaton4@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jason Rogers at jrogers73@bloomberg.net

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