US Chevron to buy stake in Australian shale gas fields in $349m deal

25 February 2013 18:14 Source:ICIS News

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Australian energy explorer Beach Energy has agreed to a $349m (€265m) deal to sell to US-based Chevron working interests in 810,000 acres in the Australia’s Cooper Basin for shale and tight gas development, the companies announced on Monday.

The deal covers two onshore gas blocks. Chevron will acquire an initial 30% working interest in the Permian section in South Australia and an 18% working interest in Queensland, Chevron said in a press release.

Chevron could earn a 60% working interest in the South Australia field and a 36% working interest in the Queensland field via stage earning, the company said.

“Chevron continually looks at opportunities to expand its resource base and add to its asset portfolio globally,” said Melody Meyer, president, Chevron Asia Pacific Exploration and Production Company. “This opportunity potentially gives us additional high-quality resources with long-term growth potential which aligns with our business strategy.”

“This transaction vindicates in many ways the vision that the company has in relation to the potential of unconventional gas in the Cooper Basin,” said Reg Nelson, Beach’s managing director.

Petrochemical companies are increasingly using shale gas as a cheap feedstock alternative for production, and thus many are on the lookout for opportunities to invest in the exploration and production of shale gas.

($1 = €0.76)

By Jeremy Pafford