France's Total buys 20-per cent stake in Australian LNG project for $800 million

French oil and gas giant Total SA agreed to buy a 20-per cent stake in Gladstone Liquefied Natural Gas (GLNG) project in Queensland from Australian oil and gas major Santos and Malaysia's national oil and gas company Petronas for a total consideration of approximately $800 million.

Through two separate deals, Santos agreed to sell 15-per cent interest in the prestigious GLNG project for A$650 million ($600 million) and Petronas another 5-per cent stake for A$217 million ($200 million) to Total, according to a Santos statement released Thursday.

The GLNG project involves piping coal seam gas (CSG) from Santos' fields in eastern Queensland to an LNG plant in Gladstone and further shipping to the world markets.
The project is designed to produce 7.2 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) of LNG through two processing trains.

Currently, Santos owns a majority 60-per cent interest in the prestigious project with Petronas holding the remaining 40-per cent.

On closing of the transactions, Santos will have 45-per cent stake in the venture followed by Petronas with 35-per cent and Total with the balance 20-per cent ownership.

Further, GLNG has also signed offtake agreements worth over A$100 billion ($92 billion) with Total and Petronas for aggregate sale of 5 mtpa of LNG over a 20-year period.

Total will buy 1.5 mtpa of LNG while Petronas has increased its earlier contracted volumes from 2 mtpa to 3.5 mtpa from the two GLNG streams train 1 and train 2.

Paris-based Total is one the world's largest LNG companies with LNG sales of 8.8 mtpa. It has interests in several companies including Qatar Gas, Adgas, Yemen, Oman, and Qalhat LNG projects in the Middle East, besides projects in Africa, Norway, Indonesia, and Australia.