Apache planning exit of LNG projects in Australia, Canada

In a move “consistent” with its “ongoing repositioning for profitable and repeatable North American onshore growth,” Houston independent Apache Corp. reported July 31 during its quarterly earnings statement that it would exit completely its holdings in the Wheatstone LNG project in Western Australia and the Kitimat LNG project in Bish Cove, British Columbia.

In addition, the company said it is now “evaluating” its holdings in other international assets and “exploring multiple opportunities, including the potential separation of some or all of these assets through the capital markets.”

G. Steven Farris, Apache chairman, chief executive officer, and president, said, “Record-setting performance by our Permian region continues to drive strong results for the company. Apache’s onshore North American liquids production increased 18% on a pro forma basis in the second-quarter 2014 compared with the same period a year ago.”

Farris said the company is “excited” about its initial results in the Eagle Ford in East Texas and Canyon Lime areas as well as the Montney and Duvernay areas in Canada.

Wheatstone, Kitimat projects

Earlier this year, Royal Dutch Shell PLC agreed to sell its 6.4% interest in the 8.9-million tonne/year Wheatstone LNG project to Kuwait Foreign Petroleum Exploration Co. (Kufpec), nearly doubling Kufpec’s interest in the $29 billion (Aus.) LNG project to 13.4% from 7% (OGJ, Jan. 27, 2014, p. 24). Apache unit Apache Energy currently holds 13% in the project. Other interest holders are Chevron Australia 64.1%, Tokyo Electric Power Co. 8%, and Kyushu Electric Power Co. 1.46%.

In January, Kitimat LNG partner Chevron Canada Ltd. awarded an engineering, procurement, and construction contract to a joint venture of Fluor and JGC Corp. Apache unit Apache Canada Ltd. is an equal-interest partner with Chevron but has been looking at selling at least a portion of its stake as a cost-cutting measure.

Chevron Canada acquired its 50% interest in Kitimat LNG in 2013 along with half interests in the proposed Pacific Trail Pipeline and in 644,000 acres in the Horn River and Liard basins in British Columbia. The two-train Kitimat project targets a 2016 start-up date.

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