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PetroChina pays premium for Browse 10% stake

The company has agreed to pay $1.63 billion for BHP Billiton's 10% share in the LNG venture

The development of Australia's last greenfield liquefied natural gas (LNG) project looks set to proceed after PetroChina agreed to pay $1.63 billion for BHP Billiton's 10% share in the troubled Browse venture. The deal seems expensive given the Chinese national oil company (NOC) is entering a high-cost stranded LNG development. However, it appears to signal a lack of confidence in the availability of alternative supplies. Browse is expected to come online around 2018 as the global market shifts from a sellers’ to a buyers’ market, note analysts at Bernstein. They say the move suggests less confidence in Russian pipeline gas, US LNG exports to China, domestic shale-gas production and the tim

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