Italian energy company Eni set to seek buyers for Australian and Timor Sea natural gas assets

Monday, 18 May 2020
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Italian energy company Eni has retained investment bankers to find buyers for its Australian natural gas, LNG and oil assets as it aims to concentrate on other markets in the years ahead such as the Middle East and Mozambique in southeast Africa.

Executives said the investment banking arm of New York-based Citgroup Inc. was seeking interested parties in the Australian assets.

Eni has offices in Perth, Western Australia, and in Darwin, in the Northern Territory as well as Dili, in Timor-Leste where it also owns assets.

In Australia, Eni owns and operates the Blacktip gas field, supplying gas to Australia’s Northern Territory for power generation and industrial uses.

In the Joint Petroleum Development Area between Timor-Leste and Australia, Eni holds a 40 percent shareholding in the Kitan Oil Project, and an 11 percent interest in both the Bayu-Undan Gas Condensate Project and the Darwin LNG plant, which liquefies feed-gas from the Bayu-Undan fields in the Timor Sea.

The Kitan oil field is located 170 kilometres offshore Timor-Leste coast and 550km northwest of Darwin.

Eni also has a 100 percent interest in permits WA-33-L and WA-69-R in the Bonaparte basin offshore Australia’s Northwestern coast where the the Blacktip gas field and the Penguin gas discovery are located.

The Blacktip gas field is located in a water depth of around 50 metres. The facilities are comprised of an unmanned production platform, an offshore pipeline of around 110 kilometres connected to the Yelcherr Onshore Gas Plant in the Northern Territory.

Eni is led by Chief Executive Claudio Descalzi who was reappointed recently to his CEO post for a third term, and analysts said he would now embark on a restructuring of assets to help the company navigate the current slump.

Australian company Santos agreed to sell 25 percent of the Darwin LNG facility and the Bayu-Undan gas field off Northern Australia to South Korea’s SK E&S for US$390 million after agreeing to buy-out the interests of ConcocoPhillips in the Northern Territory and the Timor Sea.

The Eni assets in northwest Australia and the Timor Sea could be worth more than US$900 million.

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