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Stake in Shell’s Crux gas field off Australia up for sale as FID looms

Pictured is Shell's Prelude, the world's largest floating LNG project
Pictured is Shell's Prelude, the world's largest floating LNG project

Equity in the Shell-led Crux gas field offshore Australia, that will help backfill Shell’s (LSE:RDSA) Prelude floating liquefied natural gas (LNG) project, is up for sale, as the joint venture partners move closer to a final investment decision (FID).

Crux, owned by Shell, Osaka Gas, and a unit of Australia’s Seven Group Holdings, is one of several gas fields that have been awaiting development off northwestern Australia. But Ryan Stokes, managing director of Seven Group, said today that the company has appointed advisors for a potential sale of its 15% interest in the Shell-operated Crux project in the Browse basin.

At the company’s annual general meeting today, outgoing chairman of Seven Group, Kerry Stokes, commented that under the leadership of Don Voelte, a former chief executive of Australian LNG developer Woodside, “we found the next opportunity for growth in the LNG market through the acquisition of Nexus. As we now take the Crux major gas field through to FID, it is an exciting time where, with our partners, we look to have LNG cargoes when the market is expected to be materially short.”

Still, with the group looking to raise money to pay down debt and a final investment decision looming for Crux, it seems a good time to explore the sale of its share of the gas field, especially as global LNG markets remain tight and prices for the fuel remain relatively high.

Shell has completed front-end engineering and design (FEED) at Crux and proposals are now being evaluated for the detailed engineering and execution phases, followed by FID, Seven said today.

“We have appointed advisors to examine a potential sale of the asset,” said Ryan Stokes.

The project will be developed to supply backfill gas to the Prelude floating LNG facility off northwest Australia.

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