Woodside Sells Mauritania Assets to Petronas


Australia's Woodside Petroleum said on Thursday it will sell its Mauritanian assets to Malaysian state-owned oil and gas company Petronas as it looks to focus on more lucrative LNG projects.

Perth-based Woodside said it sold the Chinguetti assets in Mauritania, including all onshore and offshore producing, development and exploration interests, for US$418 million.

"Woodside continues to examine its options in relation to its remaining African assets," the company said in a statement.

Woodside, 34% owned by Royal Dutch Shell, had said in August that it was reviewing its African assets, which also includes assets in Libya, Kenya and Algeria.

Output from Chinguetti has disappointed since the project came online in February 2006. Production first peaked at about 75,000 barrels per day (bpd) but slumped to about 20,000 in just 10 months.

Production at Chinguetti averaged 15,000 bpd in the second quarter, Woodside said during its half-year briefing in August.

Shares in Woodside have risen over 30% since the start of the year, thanks to the recent surge in spot oil prices, its stream of planned liquefied natural gas projects, the start-up of the its Otway gas project off the eastern state of Victoria and the potential sale of its African assets.