These assets include Shell's share in the Cossack, Wanaea, Lambert and Hermes oil fields – including the Cossack-Pioneer production facility – the Egret oil discovery and remaining active oil exploration portfolio within a tieback distance to the Cossack-Pioneer.
The acquisition, which comes into effect on August 1, will increase Woodside’s interests in the Cossack, Wanaea, Lambert and Hermes fields to 33.3% and its stake in the Egret oil discovery and remaining exploration portfolio to 50%.
The agreement covers estimated proved and probable reserves of 21.3 million barrels of oil equivalent, and an additional 9.3MMbbl of contingent resources.
Woodside said the purchase price was equivalent to $US18.71 per barrel of oil equivalent for proved and probable reserves.
Chief executive Don Voelte said the NWS acquisition would further boost Woodside’s cash flow and earnings.
“The North West Shelf has laid a sound business platform for Woodside over two decades and we are very pleased that this transaction will further consolidate our position in the North West Shelf Ventures,” he said.
Shell Development Australia chief operating officer Chris Gunner said the divestment was consistent with Shell’s continued emphasis on development of Australian gas opportunities.
“Shell’s commitment to Australia is evidenced by our heavy investment in the North West Shelf and Gorgon Joint Ventures, and also by our increased activity in the acquisition of new exploration permit areas, farm-ins & the purchase of rights to the gas in the Crux field,” he said.
“In addition our exploration in the Browse Basin reflects the importance of Australia to Shell's global LNG portfolio.
“We see this as an opportune time to focus our efforts on integrated gas and look forward to continuing our very successful participation in the North West Shelf Project, as well as a range of other joint ventures.”
The assets transfer is subject to regulatory and joint venture approvals, as well as approvals by Woodside and Shell shareholders.
In a related agreement, Shell will have a ‘right of final offer’ for Woodside’s assets in Libya, should it decide to proceed with a sale.
“As previously advised, Woodside is examining its options in relation to its remaining African assets, which may include further sales of these assets,” Woodside said.
Any sale of Woodside's Libyan interests would be subject to an acceptable offer being received, any pre-emption rights of the company's Libyan joint venture participants and required approvals by Libyan Government authorities.