Woodside to sell $1.4bn stake in key gas project to Jera

23rd February 2024 By: Bloomberg

Woodside to sell $1.4bn stake in key gas project to Jera

Woodside Energy Group 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 expenditure 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, owned by trading houses Sumitomo and Sojitz.

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

Woodside rose 0.8% as of 12:48 p.m. in Sydney, reversing an earlier decline of as much as 1.7%.

Scarborough, which is scheduled to deliver first LNG shipments in 2026, is forecast to produce as much as 8 million tons of the fuel a year. The project has become a major focus for climate activists opposed to the development of new fossil fuels 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.