PetroChina to buy stakes in two Australian exploration assets from ConocoPhillips

PetroChina, Asia's largest refiner, yesterday agreed to buy stakes in two Western Australia exploration assets from US oil giant ConocoPhillips and establish a joint study agreement (JSA) for developing shale gas in China.

Beijing-based PetroChina will acquire 20 per cent in the Poseidon offshore discovery in the Browse Basin, and 29 per cent in the Goldwyer Shale in the onshore Canning Basin.

Both companies did not reveal financial terms of the deal, but state-owned PetroChina has kept aside $16 billion for making overseas investment in 2013.

PetroChina will also sign a JSA with ConocoPhillips to explore for shale gas reserves in the Neijiang-Dazu Block in China's Sichuan Basin.

If technically and commercially viable, the companies will start development under a production sharing contract, which would be agreed upon during the study period.

The ConocoPhillips deal comes just two months after PetroChina agreed to buy BHP Billiton's stake in the Woodside Petroleum-led Browse LNG project.

Don Wallette, executive vice president, commercial, business development and corporate planning, ConocoPhillips, said, ConocoPhillips is pleased that PetroChina has recognised the significant resource potential and value of the Australian opportunities.

Likewise, ConocoPhillips recognises the Sichuan Basin as having some of the most prospective marine shales in China and looks forward to working with one of the world's leading energy companies.''