Australia: Tap Oil Selling Zola Stake

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Tap Oil has put its stake in the big Zola gas discovery, which is likely to play a part in the expansion of Chevron’s $29 billion Wheatstone LNG project, up for sale.

It is understood the Perth company has engaged Miro Advisors to market the 10 per cent stake in Carnarvon Basin permit WA-290-P.

The decision comes just days after Chevron and its Wheatstone foundation partners, including Apache Corp, sanctioned development of a two-train 8.9 million tonne a year LNG operation near Onslow. The partners have regulatory approval for five trains.

The Zola-1 well, which is thought to have hit a field containing up to two trillion cubic feet of gas, is located within striking distance of the path of the Wheatstone trunk line, which will link the project’s fields with the Onslow LNG plant.

Apache (30.25 per cent) is the operator of WA-290-P.

Santos (24.75 per cent), OMV (20 per cent) and Nippon Oil Exploration (15 per cent) are the other equity holders and expected to be interested in Tap’s 10 per cent stake. It is unclear whether the WA-290-P partners hold pre-emptive rights over each other’s stakes.

Tap managing director Troy Hayden would not discuss his WA-290-P plans but pointed to the portfolio restructure that he started since joining the company in December.

“We are always trying to add value,” he said yesterday.

Zola’s attractiveness to other gas players will have increased now that Chevron has sanctioned Wheatstone because it provides a tangible development option for Zola’s gas. However, any go-ahead for Zola’s development, as part of Wheatstone’s expansion, is not expected for several years. The necessary delay is thought to have prompted Tap to try to realise its stake in the permit now.

By Peter Klinger, The West Australian

Original Article

Posted on September 29, 2011, in Australia, Energy, LNG and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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