Kuwait in $1.1bn deal to buy Australia gas stakes from Shell

Kuwait Foreign Petroleum Exploration Company boosts ownership of Western Australia project

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A Kuwait-owned firm has agreed a $1.14 billion deal to buy stakes in a gas project in Western Australia from Shell, the European energy giant said yesterday.

Royal Dutch Shell said it has agreed to sell its 8 percent equity interest in the Wheatstone-Iago Joint Venture and 6.4 percent interest in the Wheatstone liquefied natural gas (LNG) project in Western Australia to the Kuwait Foreign Petroleum Exploration Company (KUFPEC).

“Shell will remain a major player in Australia’s energy industry. However, we are refocusing our investment to where we can add the most value with Shell’s capital and technology. We are making hard choices in our world-wide portfolio to improve Shell’s capital efficiency,” Shell Chief Executive Officer Ben van Beurden said in a statement.

KUFPEC is part of the Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC), which is fully owned by the State of Kuwait. It already held a stake in the Western Australia LNG project, with the recent deal raising its stake to 13.4 percent, Reuters reported.

The Wheatstone project is 25 percent complete and is due to come on stream over the next few years, Reuters said.

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