China buys Gladstone gas stake

2012-11-1

CHINA has agreed to make one of its biggest recent investments in Australia, with China National Offshore Oil Corp inking a $US6 billion ($5.7bn) deal to take a one-quarter stake in BG Group's Queensland Curtis LNG project being built at Gladstone to export coal-seam gas.

Associated with the deal is a $US60bn-plus LNG supply deal, where CNOOC will buy five million tonnes a year of LNG from BG's global gas portfolio for 20 years, making the British company the biggest supplier of the fuel to China.

This will not come directly from Gladstone, but means a large proportion of QCLNG gas is likely to make its way to China.

BG said tonight it had signed a heads of agreement with CNOOC for the $US1.93bn sale of a stake in onshore CSG ground and a 40 per cent interest in one of two LNG trains that are being built at Gladstone.

CNOOC will also reimburse BG between $US3bn and $US4bn for construction costs on the $US20bn project, which is scheduled to produce the nation's first CSG exports in 2014.

The move, when it is finalised, will increase CNOOC's overall stake in the project from 5 per cent to 25 per cent and make it the biggest Chinese owner of LNG assets in Australia.

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