Cooper Energy has agreed to acquire Orbost Gas Processing Plant from APA Orbost Gas Plant, which is controlled by Australian natural gas transmission company APA Group.

Under the terms of the agreement, the oil and gas company will acquire the Orbost facility for a total consideration ranging between A$270m ($187m) and A$330m ($230m).

Cooper Energy will make a fixed payment of A$210m at closing, along with fixed deferred payments of A$40m after 12 months, and A$20m after 24 months after closing, in addition to variable deferred performance payments.

The variable deferred payments will be finalised based on the average daily production rate during the Operations Services Period.

In addition to the consideration, Cooper Energy will undertake a fully underwritten A$244m equity offering, a new, fully underwritten revolving debt facility of A$400m and A$20m.

Upon closing, Cooper Energy will become the operator of three gas fields and two gas plants, supplying domestic gas to the Southeast Australia gas market.

APA will continue as the operator of the plant until it transfers the Major Hazard Facilities Licence to Cooper Energy.

Cooper Energy managing director David Maxwell said: “Cooper Energy’s acquisition of the Orbost Gas Processing Plant is transformative for the company.

“It accelerates our strategic position in the Gippsland Basin and strengthens our end-to-end capability to produce, process and deliver gas to our high-quality domestic customers and the spot market.

“The acquisition represents the next step in Cooper Energy’s twin gas supply hub position and is underpinned by attractive market dynamics through the tightening South-east Australia gas supply.

“Ownership of the Orbost Gas Processing Plant provides Cooper Energy with complete control of integrated operations in the Gippsland Basin and this provides a platform for future development opportunities in the region.”

The facility is located around 14km from Orbost, Victoria, close to Cooper Energy’s offshore Gippsland Basin assets with easy access to the Southeast Australian gas market.

The gas processing plant has been acquired by APA from Cooper Energy in 2017 and has seen a redevelopment programme in preparation for processing Sole gas.

The gas processed at Orbost is delivered into the Southeast Australia gas market through a pipeline connection into the Eastern Gas Pipeline.

It is capable of processing an average of around 55 TJ/day, after the recent upgrade works undertaken during March and April 2022.