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U.S. Investment Firm EIG Closes In on a Multi-Billion-Dollar LNG Acquisition

EIG Global Energy Partners expects to announce soon a deal of several billion U.S. dollars to buy an LNG asset in addition to a stake in an Australian project, EIG chief executive officer R. Blair Thomas said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal.   

U.S.-based institutional investor in the global energy and infrastructure sectors, EIG, via its unit MidOcean Energy, is currently looking to buy a 27.5% stake in the Australia Pacific LNG project in eastern Australia. The project is currently owned by ConocoPhillips with a 47.5% stake, Australia’s top energy retailer, Origin Energy, with 27.5%, and Chinese state-owned energy giant Sinopec with a 25% interest.

A consortium led by Brookfield and EIG has proposed to acquire Origin Energy, and if their $12.5 billion (AUS$19 billion) bid for the utility is successful, EIG’s MidOcean Energy would buy Origin Energy’s 27.5% stake in Australia Pacific LNG.  

But EIG is also close to announcing another deal in LNG, according to its CEO.

“Our expectation is we’ll be announcing another large acquisition in a different part of the world in the next few months,” EIG’s Thomas told the Journal but didn’t specify which the target LNG asset was.

“I would expect it to be comparable or larger to Australia Pacific LNG,” he added.

The energy infrastructure investment firm is looking to boost its exposure to the LNG market in the Atlantic Basin, Thomas told the Journal. 

Earlier this year, Saudi Aramco entered the global LNG business by signing a deal to buy a minority stake in EIG’s MidOcean Energy for $500 million—the first international investment in LNG for the Saudi state-owned oil giant.

The LNG stake agreement includes an option for Aramco to raise its shareholding and associated rights in MidOcean Energy in the future, the Saudi firm said in September.

Aramco signed in 2021 a deal with EIG to sell a 49% stake in Aramco Oil Pipelines Company.

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By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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