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BP agrees to buy Shell’s stake in Australian Browse gas project

BP agrees to buy Shell’s stake in Australian Browse gas project

By Samuel Mckeith: REUTERS

SYDNEY, April 29 (Reuters) – BP (BP.L) has agreed to buy rival giant Shell’s (SHEL.L) 27% stake in the Browse joint venture, expanding its holding in Australia’s largest untapped gas resource in a move that could improve the development prospects for the long-stalled project.

The Browse project, estimated to cost $20.5 billion, has been stuck on the drawing board for years but is now being considered as a replacement for ageing gas fields to supply the North West Shelf LNG (liquefied natural gas) plant.

Development of Browse would extend the life of the North West Shelf LNG plant for decades, helping to meet demand for LNG from Australia’s biggest trading partners, including China, Japan and South Korea, even as they turn to cleaner energy.

Shell Australia said in a statement on Saturday it had agreed to sell its stake in Browse as the “asset is no longer a strategic fit in the context of Shell’s global portfolio”.

If the deal goes ahead, BP will increase its stake in Browse to 44%, overtaking operator Woodside Energy Group’s (WDS.AX) 30.3% stake. Woodside, BP and Shell are also all stakeholders in the North West Shelf LNG plant.


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