Apache Corp. has agreed to sell its stakes in two international liquefied-natural-gas projects to Woodside Petroleum Ltd. for $2.75 billion, after coming under activist pressure this summer to refocus its drilling operations on the U.S.
The stakes include a 13% interest in the Australian Wheatstone liquid-natural gas project and a 50% interest in the Canadian Kitimat liquid natural gas project, as well as accompanying upstream oil and gas reserves.
In July, activist investor Jana Partners LLC began calling on the oil and gas producer to sell off its international holdings to drill exclusively on American soil. Jana had built a stake worth more than $1 billion in the company.
Apache announced later that month that it would exit the Australian and Canadian projects.
The company had planned a large expansion of its Australian oil and gas operations over the next few years. The plans, which coincided with its decision to sell $4 billion of its assets to shore up its balance sheet, came as Australia’s natural-gas sector struggled with cost overruns and faced competition for Asian liquefied-natural-gas customers’ business from North America. Apache had expected to spend billions of dollars in Western Australia these past two years.
Apache said Monday that it expects to net $3.7 billion on the deal, which is expected to close by March.
Apache said it could use the proceeds to reduce debt, repurchase shares and grow its asset base.
By Chelsey Dulaney