Chevron Pulls Out of Australian Gas Project With Beach Energy

Chevron Corp. withdrew from a natural gas exploration venture in central Australia, as the second-biggest U.S. energy producer curtails spending.

Chevron decided that “the opportunity does not align strategically” with its global exploration and development portfolio, its partner Adelaide-based Beach Energy Ltd. said Friday in a statement.

The move follows San Ramon, California-based Chevron’s announcement earlier Friday that it’s selling its 50 percent stake in Caltex Australia Ltd. to institutional investors.

In 2013, Chevron had agreed to pay as much as $349 million to join Beach in its first shale investment in Australia.

Beach will now look at opportunities to bring in another partner after Chevron said it won’t go ahead with the second stage of the Nappamerri Trough gas project, according to the statement. Beach will carry out further studies through the year ending in June 2016, with minimal spending, it said.

The project is still “potentially significant on a global scale,” Beach said in an e-mailed response to questions. “Beach remains committed to this resource” that has potential to supply gas to the east coast and export markets.

Icon Energy Ltd. is also a partner in the project.

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