By DAVID WINNING
SYDNEY -- BHP Billiton said Wednesday it had agreed a $1.63 billion cash deal to sell its stake in the proposed Browse liquefied natural gas project in Australia to PetroChina, China's largest listed oil producer by market value.
The deal involves PetroChina buying BHP's 8.33% stake in the East Browse joint venture and its 20% interest in the West Browse joint venture located in offshore Western Australia state.
Existing participants including Woodside Petroleum and Royal Dutch Shell hold the right to match PetroChina's offer, which also needs regulatory approval.
International companies have committed more than $170 billion to build LNG projects on Australia's coastline, putting the country on track to overtake Qatar as the world's top exporter of liquefied natural gas by the end of the decade. LNG is natural gas chilled to a liquid so that it can be shipped by sea.
Dow Jones Newswires