Phillips acquires larger share of Greater Sunrise project off Australia

Phillips Petroleum Co., through two subsidiaries, has agreed to acquire an additional stake in the $2.5 billion (Aus.) ($1.4 billion (US) Greater Sunrise development in Australia's Bonaparte basin from Woodside Petroleum Ltd. Phillips will acquire 16.39% of the Greater Sunrise fields�Sunrise, Sunset, and Troubadour, in Australia's Bonaparte basin�and will pay Woodside $176 million to cover its capital costs.


HOUSTON, Feb. 23�Phillips Petroleum Co., through two subsidiaries, has agreed to acquire an additional stake in the $2.5 billion (Aus.) ($1.4 billion US) Greater Sunrise development in Australia's Bonaparte basin from Woodside Petroleum Ltd.

Phillips will acquire 16.39% of the Greater Sunrise fields�Sunrise, Sunset, and Troubadour, in Australia's Bonaparte basin�and will pay Woodside $176 million to cover its capital costs.

The proposed acquisition, which would bring Phillips' holding to 30%, is subject to pre-emptive rights held by Osaka Gas Co. Ltd., a partner in the project. Shell Development Australia Pty. Ltd. has agreed to waive its pre-emptive right, said Woodside.

This agreement is part of a pact sealed last year between Woodside and Phillips to pursue cooperative development of Timor Sea gas resources in the Greater Sunrise and Bayu-Undan projects (OGJ Online, Nov. 30, 2000).

The companies also announced they have finalized principles for that cooperative agreement, which include supply of gas and marketing of liquefied natural gas (LNG), pipeline infrastructure, and field optimization.

Under the agreement, Bayu-Undan could begin gas production in 2004 and Greater Sunrise as early as the second half of 2006.

Phillips noted that with the acquisition of Petroz NL, it controls a 58.5% interest of the Bayu-Undan field and is the operator.

If Shell succeeds in its quest to control Woodside, Phillips said it will be given an option to acquire a further 15% interest in Greater Sunrise, subject to pre-emptive rights of other participants.

By the time a final agreement is signed by all stakeholders in mid-2001, the Greater Sunrise participants plan to execute agreements to supply gas to a diverse customer base including an LNG plant and a Methanex-owned methanol venture.

Phillips Petroleum Co. Australia Pty. Ltd. Pres. Stephen Brand said, "Sharing of offshore pipeline infrastructure and coordination of offshore and onshore operations will reduce the gas development costs of Bayu-Undan and Greater Sunrise fields while meeting the short- and long-term requirements of a large customer base in the Northern Territory and the eastern and southern Australian states, as well as LNG customers."

Participants with Phillips in the Greater Sunrise development following this transaction are operator Woodside with 33.44%; Shell Development Australia, 26.56%; and Osaka Gas, 10%.

Phillips also agreed to buy a 25% interest in Evans Shoal gas field in the eastern Timor Sea from Shell. Phillips estimates Evans Shoal contains 6.6 tcf of dry gas resources.

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