SYDNEY May 1 Japan's Mitsui & Co and
Mitsubishi Corp have agreed to jointly buy a 14.7
percent stake in an Australian LNG project from Woodside
Petroleum for $2 billion and to buy 1.5 million tonnes
of gas a year from the project.
The two firms, through a company called Japan Australia LNG,
have also offered assistance in getting financing for the Browse
project, estimated by analyst to cost around A$30 billion ($31
billion), from Japanese banks.
Woodside, which has accepted the offer, said its stake in
the project will fall to 31.3 percent from 46 percent. It will
remain the operator of the project.
The other stakeholders in the project are BHP Billiton
, BP, Chevron and Shell, which
have pre-emptive rights on the stake sale.
Last month, Australia gave partners in the Browse project
off its western coast more time to reach a final investment
decision, as attempts are made to end in-fighting and quell
opposition from environmentalists and landowners.
1 = 0.9606 Australian dollars)