BG Group may sell $2-bn worth stake in Australian LNG project to China Investment Corp

British oil and gas producer BG Group Plc is planning to sell a stake in its Australian LNG project to Chinese sovereign wealth fund China Investment Corp (CIC), in a deal that could be worth $2 billion, Reuters yesterday reported, citing sources familiar with the matter.

BG, the third-biggest oil and gas producer in the UK, holds a 93.75-per cent stake in the $15-billion Queensland-based Curtis Island liquefied natural gas (LNG) project, and is offering to sell 15-20 per cent of its stake to the $410 billion sovereign wealth fund.

With first round of bids is due in early June, other interested bidders include China's China National Offshore Oil Corp (CNOOC), which already holds a 5-per cent stake in the project, Osaka Gas Co Ltd, Tokyo Gas Co, Mitsui & Co, Marubeni Corp and Qatar Petroleum.

The Berkshire-based company had initially planned to sell an equity stake in the project and also to offer the buyer a long-term gas off-take agreement. Under the revised deal, BG has dropped the off-take agreement, the report said.

BG is also seeking to sell its stake in other global projects as part of its plan to focus on exploration and production, worldwide.

It is talking with Brazil's largest and the world's fifth-largest producer of ethanol Cosan SA Industria e Comercio, on selling its 60.1 per cent stake in gas distributor Comgás, in a deal reportedly worth $1.7 billion. (See: Brazil's Cosan in talks to buy BG Group's stake in gas distributor Comgás)