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March 5, 2015

Australian commission approves Woodside’s acquisition of Apache’s stakes in three projects

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has approved Woodside’s proposed acquisition of Apache's stakes in three projects.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has approved Woodside’s proposed acquisition of Apache’s stakes in three projects.

ACCC said it will not oppose Woodside’s acquisition of Apache’s interests in the Wheatstone and Balnaves projects in the Northern Carnarvon Basin, offshore Western Australia, and the Kitimat project in British Columbia, Canada.

The Wheatstone project will include an onshore facility situated at Ashburton North Strategic Industrial Area, 12km west of Onslow in Western Australia’s Pilbara region.

"Following the proposed acquisition, Woodside would continue to face strong competition from other suppliers in the market, including Apache, Chevron, and Santos."

The foundation project includes two liquefied natural gas (LNG) trains, with a combined capacity of 8.9 million tonnes per annum, and a domestic gas plant.

Balnaves is an offshore oil field located in exploration permit area WA-356-P, about 134km south-east of Mardie Station, in the Pilbara Region of Western Australia.

The field is situated at a water depth of about 135m, in the northern Carnarvon Basin, about 180km off the Western Australian coast.

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The proposed Kitimat LNG facility will be constructed on land leased under a benefit agreement with the Haisla Nation.

The facility will feature two liquefaction trains to cool the natural gas to a liquid state, LNG storage tanks and a marine jetty and berth to house specialised LNG carriers.

ACCC chairman Rod Sims said: "Following the proposed acquisition, Woodside would continue to face strong competition from other suppliers in the market, including Apache, Chevron, and Santos.

"Apache will continue to supply gas to the market through its interests in the Macedon, Varanus Island, and Devil Creek Projects. As a result, Apache will remain a larger supplier of domestic gas in Western Australia than Woodside following the proposed acquisition."

The commission said that the acquisition is unlikely to raise competition concerns.

Sims said: "The ACCC will continue to monitor the supply of domestic gas in Western Australia, and any future acquisitions in this area will be scrutinised carefully."

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