Woodside gunning for Scarborough stake

A map of the Scarborough gas field.

A map of the Scarborough gas field.

Woodside Energy has said it will raise $2.5 billion to fund the purchase of ExxonMobil’s stake in the Scarborough gas field, offshore Western Australia.

Woodside agreed to buy ExxonMobil’s 50 per cent stake in Scarborough for up to $744 million, with part of that due pending a final investment decision (FID) on developing the field.

Woodside will raise the funds from its shareholders, and the potential deal would see Woodside control a 75 per cent stake in the Scarborough field.

Woodside will be offering one new share for every nine shares owned at $27 a share, a 13 per cent discount to Woodside’s last trade.

The rest of the money being raised through the offer will be used to support work on Scarborough, the SNE oil project off the coast of Senegal, and progress towards a FID on the Browse field off Western Australia.

“The acquisition of the additional interest in Scarborough provides greater alignment, control and certainty over a low cost, high value opportunity ahead of a global LNG supply gap,” said Woodside Chief Executive Peter Coleman.

“Today’s raising puts Woodside and our shareholders in a strong position, and will allow us to develop new supply that we expect to be materially value accretive.”

The Scarborough asset areas include the Scarborough, Thebe and Jupiter gas fields, which are estimated to contain gross 8.7 Tcf of dry gas resources.

ExxonMobil’s affiliate, Esso Australia Resources Pty Ltd, is currently the operator and owner of 50 per cent of the Scarborough gas field in a joint venture with BHP Billiton (25 per cent) and Woodside (25 per cent).

Discovered in 1979, the Scarborough field is located off the coast of Western Australia approximately 220 km northwest of Exmouth in 900 m of water.

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