Chevron Corp aims to sell its minority stake in Australia's biggest and oldest liquefied natural gas (LNG) project, the North West Shelf, after drawing interest from potential buyers, the company said on Thursday.
The move marks a long-awaited shake-up of ownership in the $34 billion project as it runs out of gas and shifts towards becoming a facility that will process gas into LNG for third parties.
"Chevron Australia has made the decision to market its non-operated one-sixth interest in the North West Shelf (NWS) project, following a number of unsolicited approaches from a range of credible buyers," the company said in an emailed statement.
It didn't identify suitors, nor disclose how much it might hope to raise from the sale.
The project, operated by Woodside Petroleum, has been running for three decades and the gas fields that feed the NWS LNG plant are expected to start running out in the next few years.
The plant owners are now looking to line up gas supply from new fields, and plan to charge a tolling fee to process that gas from third parties.
As a result of the change in focus for the plant, Chevron said it was now appropriate "to consider fair value proposals from potential buyers for its interest."
The U.S. giant said it remains committed to its Gorgon and Wheatstone LNG projects, also in Western Australia, both of which it operates.
(Reporting by Sonali Paul; Editing by Clarence Fernandez and Kenneth Maxwell)