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Woodside reaches deal with BHP to operate Scarborough gas field

EBR Staff Writer Published 12 March 2018

Woodside has reached an agreement with BHP Billiton to become the operator of the offshore Scarborough gas field in Australia.

Under the agreement, BHP Billiton has given its formal consent to the sale of ExxonMobil’s 50% stake to Woodside in the offshore gas field in the Carnarvon Basin in Western Australia.

Following the completion of the $744m transaction with ExxonMobil, Woodside will increase its existing stake of 25% in the Scarborough gas field to 75%. The remaining stake of 25% will be held by BHP Billiton.

The agreement between Woodside and BHP Billiton is expected to pave way for the development of the Scarborough gas field, which was discovered nearly 40 years ago.

Woodside CEO Peter Coleman said: “I am pleased BHP has agreed that Woodside will become operator of the Scarborough Development. The Scarborough joint venture will now be focused on finalising the development concept prior to entering FEED and positioning for FID in 2020.”

Currently, ExxonMobil's affiliate Esso Australia Resources is the operator of the offshore gas field, contained in 900m of water.

Last month, Woodside entered into an agreement with ExxonMobil to buy out the latter’s stake in the WA-1-R concession, which contains most of the Scarborough gas field.

As per the agreement with BHP, Woodside has given the latter an option to buy an additional stake of 10% in the Scarborough gas field on same consideration and terms in the transaction being pursued with ExxonMobil.

BHP has the right to exercise the option before 31 December 2019. 

Discovered in 1979, Scarborough is located off the coast of Western Australia approximately 220km northwest of Exmouth in 900 metres of water.

The Scarborough area assets will include gas fields in Scarborough, Jupiter and Thebe, where an estimated amount of 8.7 trillion cubic feet of gas resources are present at 2C confidence level.