August 25, 2017 / 3:56 AM / in 10 months

AGL sells north Australia natural gas assets to Chinese consortium

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Australia’s AGL Energy Ltd said on Friday it has agreed to sell its north Queensland gas assets to a consortium of buyers including privately held Shandong Order Gas Co and Orient Energy Ltd.

The purchase covers AGL’s 50 percent stakes in two projects, the Moranbah Gas Project and the North Queensland Energy Joint Venture, as well as participation rights for an exploration licence in the Bowen Basin, AGL said in a statement.

The sale is subject to AGL’s partner Arrow Energy Ltd not taking up its pre-emptive rights in the projects. Arrow is a joint venture company between Royal Dutch Shell and PetroChina Co. The deal is also subject to securing approval from the Chinese and Australia regulators, AGL said.

AGL did not disclose the value of the sale.

After trying to sell the north Queensland assets for several years, AGL said in February 2016 that it planned to get out of gas production and exploration given weaker oil and gas prices and wrote down the value of its gas assets.

Shandong is a Chinese gas distribution company. Orient is a privately held Australian energy investment company focused on the exploration and production of gas in the Bowen Basin.

($1 = 1.2669 Australian dollars)

Reporting by Melanie Burton; Editing by Christian Schmollinger

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