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ACCC will not oppose Woodside’s acquisition of Apache interests

LNG Industry,

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) will not opposed Woodside’s proposed acquisition of Apache Corp.’s interests in the Wheatstone, Balnaves and Kitimat LNG projects.

Rod Sims, ACCC Chairman, explained: “Following the proposed acquisition, Woodside would continue to face strong competition from other suppliers in the market, including Apache, Chevron, and Santos.

Domestic gas

“Apache will continue to supply gas to the market through its interests in the Macedon, Varanus Island, and Devil Creek Projects. As a result, Apache will remain a larger supplier of domestic gas in WA than Woodside following the proposed acquisition.

“Apache’s minority interest in domestic gas produced by the Wheatstone Project will represent only a small fraction of the total gas to be supplied to WA, when it comes online in around 2018. The acquisition will not change the structure of the market in a material way, with Woodside’s share of the total market changing by less than 5%.”

Competition concerns?

The ACCC determined that in this case, the proposed acquisition would be unlikely to raise significant competition concerns. However, the Commission noted that a number of concerns had been expressed in the market regarding the impact of any further industry consolidation.

Sims concluded: “The ACCC will continue to monitor the supply of domestic gas in WA and any future acquisitions in this area will be scrutinised carefully."

Adapted from press release by Katie Woodward

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