BHP di­vests Min­erva plant

The Australian Energy Review - - NEWS - EL­IZ­A­BETH FABRI VIC­TO­RIA

THE Casino Henry joint ven­ture – com­pris­ing Cooper En­ergy, AWE and Mit­sui E&P Aus­tralia – has inked a deal to ac­quire BHP’S 90 per cent stake in the Min­erva gas plant in Vic­to­ria. The plant is one of three on­shore pro­cess­ing plants in Vic­to­ria that process gas from the Ot­way Basin, and upon com­ple­tion of the sale, will of­fer com­pet­i­tive pric­ing op­tions for gas from Casino Henry and other fields in the re­gion, in­clud­ing the joint ven­ture’s VIC/P44 ex­plo­ration acreage. Un­der the deal, Cooper En­ergy will in­crease its 10 per cent stake in the plant to 50 per cent, and AWE and Mit­sui will each hold a 25 per cent in­ter­est (a col­lec­tive 50 per cent stake since Mit­sui is in the process of ac­quir­ing AWE). The off­shore Min­erva gas field and off­shore gas pipe­line will re­main owned by BHP (90 per cent) and Cooper En­ergy (10 per cent). Cooper En­ergy man­ag­ing di­rec­tor David Maxwell said ac­quir­ing the plant had “clear strate­gic merit and can sig­nif­i­cantly fur­ther en­hance the eco­nomics of Ot­way Basin gas de­vel­op­ment and pro­duc­tion”. “We fore­see the ac­qui­si­tion of the Min­erva plant dove­tail­ing with our ex­plo­ration and de­vel­op­ment plans for the off­shore Ot­way Basin,” Mr Maxwell said. “These plans in­clude lift­ing pro­duc­tion through the drilling of a de­vel­op­ment well on the Henry field and drilling for new gas re­serves.” The plant has been op­er­a­tional for 13 years, with a gas pro­cess­ing ca­pac­ity of about 150 ter­a­joules per day and hy­dro­car­bon liq­uids pro­cess­ing fa­cil­i­ties. Cooper En­ergy said the joint ven­ture had pro­gressed pre­lim­i­nary engi­neer­ing de­sign work for pro­cess­ing gas at the plant. Stud­ies in­cluded build­ing a 0.25km pipe­line tie-in to con­nect to Casino Henry, which is cur­rently con­tracted to process gas at Lochard En­ergy’s Iona gas fa­cil­ity un­til De­cem­ber 2018.

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