Photo: Illustration. Source: Eni

Eni stops Australian assets sale amid lack of satisfactory bids

Italian oil and gas company Eni has reportedly put on hold its sale of Australian gas assets due to a lack of satisfactory bids.

Reuters reported on Tuesday that Eni has put on hold the sale of Australian assets estimated to be worth around $1 billion after failing to attract satisfactory bids.

A source close to the matter told Reuters that offers had been well below what Eni had expected.

Following these reports, Offshore Energy has reached out to Eni seeking confirmation about the process being halted and its estimated value of the assets. Eni has yet to respond to our questions.

According to Reuters, the sale of Australian assets is part of Eni’s plans to sell its non-core assets in a bid to raise cash amid the coronavirus downturn and as part of its new focus on cleaner fuels and a push towards energy transition.

Eni’s exploration and production activities in Australia are concentrated off the shore of the country. The main production areas, in which the company has a 100 per cent and 10.99 per cent share, are in the exploration blocks WA-33-L and JPDA 03-13, respectively.

With regard to the appraisal and development stages, Eni holds a 100 per cent and 65 per cent share respectively in the NT/RL8 and NT/RL7 areas.

The Italian company also has shares in four more exploration licences, one of which is in the Joint Petroleum Development Area (JPDA).

About a year ago, Eni and its partners decided to surrender their interests in the WA-34-R joint venture located offshore Australia due to unattractive returns on potential developments.

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The WA-34-R is a Retention Lease in the offshore Bonaparte Basin, Western Australia which contains the Prometheus/Rubicon gas fields discovered in June and December 2000, respectively.

Having considered all realistic commercialization opportunities under a range of economic assumptions, the joint venture partners concluded the returns on potential developments were unattractive against the costs and risks.