HONG KONG/SYDNEY, April 27 BG Group Plc
has held talks with China Investment Corp on the sale
of an equity stake in the British gas producer's Australian LNG
facilities, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters, a
deal that could be worth $2 billion.
BG and CIC started discussions about two months ago, one of
the sources said, although it was not clear whether the $410
billion sovereign wealth fund's interest was still active.
The sources added that first round bids were due in early
Others in the fray include China's CNOOC Group, which owns a
5 percent stake in the project, Osaka Gas Co Ltd, Tokyo
Gas Co Ltd, Mitsui & Co Ltd Marubeni Corp
and Qatar Petroleum, the sources said. They
declined to be identified as talks are confidential.
BG is among many global oil majors developing $200 billion
worth of liquefied natural gas export projects in Australia.
Developers such as BG are shedding some stakes to free up cash
for other projects.
BG, which owns a 93.75 percent stake in the $15 billion
Queensland Curtis Island LNG project, is offering a 15-20
percent stake, sources previously told Reuters. The stake could
be worth up to $2 billion, sources said.
BG had Initially planned to sell an equity stake in the
project and to also offer the buyer a long-term gas off-take
agreement. Under the revised deal, BG has dropped the off-take
agreement, said the sources.
They said BG would discuss off-take agreements only after
the equity was sold, and the off-take would most likely be
offered in expansion of the project.