AWE, Mitsui combine for Waitsia bid

AWE and Japanese energy giant Mitsui have joined together to bid up to $200 million for Origin Energy’s stake in Waitsia.

The two company’s history in the area is expected to put them in the lead at the auction, despite their bid being lower than the alleged $200 – $254 million offer by Transerv, Warro gas field co-owner, according to a report by the West Australian.

Origin is believed to have the auction finalised by August.

The major asset in Origin’s Perth Basin portfolio is a half stake in the Waitsia gas field which is operated by AWE – the other 50 per cent owner. The initial discovery of this resource was believed to be the largest onshore discovery since the 1960s.

On Friday, AWE increased their reserves by 93 per cent to 344 billion cubic feet and, when combined with resources from its associated Irwin, Senecio, and Synaphea fields, the total rises to 867 billion cubic feet.

Mitsui’s entrance comes weeks before the company is expected to sanction the $2 billion Greater Enfield oil development, operated by Woodside Petroleum. It has a 40 per cent stake.

Grant King, Origin Energy managing director, confirmed the auction was proceeding but did not offer any further details.

Origin seeks to divest of the non-core Perth Basin as part of its east coast focused strategy.

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