SYDNEY-- Chevron Corp, the second-largest US energy company, agreed to sell a 10% stake in its A$29 billion or US$29 billion Wheatstone liquefied natural gas project to a group that includes Tokyo Electric Power Co.
Tokyo Electric, the Japanese utility known as Tepco, also agreed to buy an additional 400,000 metric tons of LNG annually from Wheatstone for 20 years, San Ramon, California-based Chevron said today in a statement that did not give the price. The agreement means Tepco will buy 4.2 million tons of LNG a year from Wheatstone, located in Australia’s north-west.
The group will acquire 10% of the Wheatstone field licenses and 8 percent of the natural gas-processing facilities, Chevron said. In a preliminary agreement in December 2009, Tepco said it would acquire 15% of Chevron’s share in the licenses and 11.25% of the processing plants near Onslow in Western Australia state.
Wheatstone is among seven LNG ventures under construction in Australia to tap increasing Asian demand for the fuel. Japan, already the world’s largest LNG importer, is adding to its LNG purchases to generate power after the Fukushima nuclear disaster.
Tepco was in talks with Mitsubishi Corp., Nippon Yusen K.K. and state-owned Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corp. to jointly invest in Wheatstone, Naoyuki Matsumoto, a Tepco spokesman, said on May 16. The Chevron statement today didn’t name the other companies involved with the Tepco group.
The Japanese companies were considering buying a US$4.35 billion stake in the project, two people with direct knowledge of the negotiations said last month, asking not to be identified because the talks were private. (Bloomberg/T03/TW)
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