Woodside to Sell $1.4 Billion Stake in Gas Project to Jera

image is BloomburgMedia_S9AAGOT1UM0W00_23-02-2024_05-18-45_638442432000000000.jpg

Signage for Woodside Energy Group Ltd. atop the Mia Yellagonga building, which houses the company's headquarters, in Perth, Australia, on Tuesday, Aug. 24, 2023. The potential strike in Australia’s LNG sector could constrain the global gas supply as the area contributes nearly 60% of the country’s LNG exports and about 11% of the global supply. Photographer: Philip Gostelow/Bloomberg

Woodside Energy Group Ltd. agreed to a $1.4 billion deal to sell a 15.1% stake in its flagship Scarborough liquefied natural gas project to Jera Co., Japan’s biggest power producer, as consumers aim to secure long-term supply.

The accord includes a $740 million purchase price and reimbursement for spending on the project off the coast of Western Australia, the Perth-based supplier said Friday in a statement. It follows the sale last year of a 10% stake in the controversial development to LNG Japan Corp., owned by trading houses Sumitomo Corp. and Sojitz Corp.

Jera’s purchase “is a further demonstration of the importance of the project to Japanese customers and confidence in long-term demand,” Woodside Chief Executive Offer Meg O’Neill said in the statement. 

Woodside rose 0.3% as of 1:38 p.m. in Sydney, reversing an earlier decline of as much as 1.7%. 

Scarborough, which is scheduled to deliver its first LNG shipment in 2026, is forecast to produce as much as 8 million tons a year of the heating and power plant fuel. The development has become a target for climate activists opposed to the development of new fossil fuel projects.

Woodside also entered a non-binding agreement for Jera to purchase six LNG shipments a year from its portfolio for 10 years from 2026, according to Friday’s statement. 

Japan, the world’s second-biggest LNG buyer, is moving to secure more gas after the 2022 energy crisis pushed the government to press companies to lock in supply and invest in projects. 

A recent decision by the US to pause approvals for future export projects also prompted some Japanese buyers to begin looking for alternative sources. Jera, one of the world’s biggest LNG importers, has said that the move could cause concerns for global energy security.

The Scarborough acquisition will “contribute to the stable supply of energy in Japan, and Asia as a whole,” Yuichiro Kato, an executive officer at Jera, said at a Friday press briefing.

(Updates with Jera official’s comments in the ninth paragraph.)

©2024 Bloomberg L.P.

By Stephen Stapczynski , Tsuyoshi Inajima


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