March 12, 2018 / 6:06 AM / 9 months ago

Australia's Woodside says has green light to up gas field stake

FILE PHOTO: Logos of Woodside Petroleum are seen at Gastech, the world's biggest expo for the gas industry, in Chiba, Japan, April 4, 2017. REUTERS/Toru Hanai/File Photo

(Reuters) - Energy firm Woodside Petroleum on Monday said that its plan to buy ExxonMobil Corp’s 50-percent interest in Australia’s Scarborough gas field had been given the go-ahead by BHP Billiton, which partly owns the development.

Australia’s Woodside last month said it had agreed to pay $744 million for ExxonMobil’s stake in the project that has been stuck on the drawing board for nearly 40 years, taking its hold to 75 percent.

The deal on the remote, deepwater gas field off the coast of the state of Western Australia is expected to conclude by the end of this quarter, Woodside said in a statement.

Woodside also granted BHP the option to buy an additional 10 percent interest in Scarborough on the same terms as the ExxonMobil deal.

Woodside bought a 25 percent stake in Scarborough from BHP in 2016. The company in a separate announcement said it had closed the retail component of its A$2.5 billion capital raising, which it started last month to fund the Scarborough transaction.

Reporting by Devika Syamnath in Bengaluru; Editing by Biju Dwarakanath and Joseph Radford

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