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Mitsubishi Corp. and Mitsui & Co. or China may be interested in buying part of Royal Dutch Shell’s remaining 24 percent stake in Australia’s Woodside Petroleum, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co.

“We believe Japanese firms could be strategically interested in Woodside’s assets,” JPMorgan resources analysts, including Benjamin Wilson, said Tuesday in a report. “Such a deal would represent an indirect hedge for China against imported liquefied national gas costs.”

Shell, Europe’s largest oil company, sold down 10 percent of its Woodside stake last Nov. 8 for $3.35 billion, saying it would keep the remaining 24 percent in its project partner for at least one year.

BHP Billiton Ltd. doused speculation in April it plans to buy Shell’s stake and launch a full takeover of Woodside.

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