BP Bulks Up Offshore Australia Gas to Feed Northwest Shelf LNG

  • Buys into venture targeting Ironbark gas off Western Australia
  • BP is existing partner in North West Shelf with 16% stake

BP Plc. picked up new offshore Australia gas fields to expand supply options for the North West Shelf LNG venture.

BP’s deal Thursday with Cue Energy Resources will see it take 80 percent of the WA-409-P permit and an option to acquire 42.5 percent of the WA-359-P permit, Cue said in a statement Thursday. The deal comes days after BP abandoned its plan to drill off Australia’s southern coast, one of the world’s last frontier exploration territories.

The Cue deal “fits BP’s strategy of accessing exploration opportunities, and developing and producing from fields, that provide the greatest value to BP," the company said in an e-mailed statement. “Finding new gas to keep our share of NWS infrastructure full is a key part of our strategy.”

The focus of the deal is the Ironbark prospect located about 50 kilometers from the North West Shelf plant. The field is also near Woodside Petroleum Ltd.’s Pluto project and Chevron Corp.’s Wheatstone infrastructure under development, Cue said in its statement.

BP said that along with its five joint venture partners in North West Shelf it’s focused on extending the life of the aging LNG plant with gas from new sources off the West Australian coast.

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