King & Wood Mallesons and Herbert Smith Freehills have advised on one of China’s biggest recent investments into Australia and the sale of liquefied natural gas from BG Group’s global LNG portfolio.
Firms: King & Wood Mallesons (BG Group); Herbert Smith Freehills (China National Offshore Oil Corporation)
Deal: BG Group enters into a Heads of Agreement (HOA) for the sale of certain interests in the Queensland Curtis LNG (QCLNG) project to CNOOC
Area: Energy and resources
Value: $1.93 billion
Key players: The KWM team for the HOA and fully-termed transaction agreements was led by partners Craig Rogers (pictured) and Joshua Cole and senior associate Michael Lawson, who were supported by senior associate Agata Bober and lawyers Theadora Tsangari and Carolyn Wong
Deal significance: Fully-termed transaction agreements are expected to be executed in the first half of 2013 and, on closing, CNOOC will reimburse BG Group for its share of QCLNG project capital expenditures incurred from 1 January 2012. Under the terms of the HOA, BG Group will sell an additional 40 per cent interest in the first LNG production train of the QCLNG project, increasing CNOOC’s equity interest in the facility to 50 per cent. CNOOC will also acquire further interests in the reserves and resources of certain BG Group tenements in the Surat Basin and new interests in certain BG Group tenements in the Bowen Basin, bringing its interest in these fields to 25 per cent. Under the LNG sale agreement, BG Group will supply CNOOC with five million tonnes per annum (mtpa) of LNG for 20 years beginning in 2015, sourced from BG Group’s global LNG portfolio. Combined with the 3.6 mtpa LNG sale agreement signed with CNOOC in March 2010, this will bring BG Group’s total committed LNG sales to China to 8.6 mtpa – making it the largest supplier of LNG to China. This transaction will bolster the close partnership between BG Group and CNOOC on the landmark QCLNG project.