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AAP News (Australasia): Osaka Gas pays Nexus $75m for stake in Crux liquids project

Rebecca LeMay,
Published: Sep 21, 2007

PERTH, Sept 21 AAP – Japan’s Osaka Gas Co has paid Nexus Energy Ltd $75 million for a 15 per cent interest in the Crux liquids project, implying a total value for the project of $500 million. The Crux field is in the Browse Basin offshore Western Australia.

In early 2006, Nexus sold the rights to the gas in the project, excluding condensate, to Shell for $US40 million ($A46.48 million). Osaka Gas and Nexus have committed to a work program to bring the project to a financial investment decision in the second quarter of 2008.

They will also initiate joint studies to identify exploration opportunities in the project area, targeting gas resources. Finalisation of an independent engineering report is expected to be completed next month, estimating the resources currently available for development for the project. Two appraisal/development wells are expected to commence drilling in January next year. Osaka Gas is capitalised at $9.1 billion and has been operating for over 100 years. The company is the seventh largest gas utility in the world, importing more than seven million tonnes of liquefied natural gas per year. “Osaka Gas brings considerable financial capacity to the project which places Nexus in a position to accelerate the progress of the Crux field development,” Nexus managing director Ian Tchacos said. Nexus is one of the most successful oil and gas firms of recent years, rising swiftly from the ranks of junior to mid-tier, with a current market capitalisation of $747.4 million. Shares in Nexus closed 1.5 cents, or 1.08 per cent, higher to $1.405. AAP rlm/ea

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