Dubai visit by Petronet-LNG to Australia gas dataroom

Vol 12, PW 5 (24 Jul 08) People & Policy

Petronet-LNG is focusing on Australia’s North West Shelf region to realise its ambition to buy upstream gas equity so it can import more LNG into India.

PETROWATCH learns a three-member Petronet-LNG team left for Dubai on July 22 to visit the dataroom of an upstream company with acreage in Australia’s North West Shelf. “We’ve already visited the datarooms of two other companies with acreage in this area,â€‌ says a Petronet-LNG source.

No information about the identity of the company is available except that it isn’t Meo Australia. Petronet-LNG had to restart its round of dataroom visits when talks with explorer Meo were called off after it was taken over by Woodside Petroleum.

“Meo told us two weeks ago (after Woodside entered the picture) that they were pulling out of the talks.â€‌ Adds Petronet-LNG: “We’ve identified half a dozen other prospective companies with mostly offshore acreage in the North West Shelf.

â€‌ Petronet-LNG is clear that it wants a property with the least exploration risk. “We are clear that we will not go into a high risk area and want acreage where most of the exploration risk is already taken,â€‌ we hear.

“The initial work programme should have been executed and P2 reserves certification should be available.â€‌ Only acreage in the gas-rich North West Shelf meets all these criteria, says Petronet-LNG.

Once the Dubai reconnaissance team returns to Delhi, Petronet-LNG plans to begin commercial due diligence of all three identified properties. “We are still some time away from concluding any deal,â€‌ adds a source.

Petronet-LNG wants gas that will support a 5m t/y liquefaction facility for 100% export to India. “For a 5m t/y gas liquefaction facility, there should be minimum 6-tcf gas reserve,â€‌ we are told.

In such a property, Petronet-LNG is targeting to farm-in at least 50%. “Any stake that gives us (access to) less than 3-tcf gas is not worthwhile.