HOUSTON, Feb. 1, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Apache Corporation (NYSE and Nasdaq: APA) today announced that its Apache Energy Limited subsidiary has completed previously announced plans to acquire an interest in Burrup Holdings Limited, owner of an ammonia fertilizer plant in the Burrup Peninsula region of Western Australia, from ANZ Bank.
Apache paid $439 million, including customary closing adjustments, to acquire a 49-percent interest in Burrup Holdings Limited. Yara International ASA paid ANZ Bank $143 million, including adjustments, to increase its ownership in Burrup Holdings to 51 percent from 35 percent. Yara will become operator after a transition to ensure continued safe operation of the plant.
Apache has supplied natural gas to Burrup Fertilisers since the plant commenced production in 2006. With a capacity of 850,000 metric tons annually, the plant is one of the world's largest ammonia facilities, producing 6 percent of the total world output of tradable ammonia. The plant will be renamed Yara Pilbara."This new ownership structure will stabilize the Burrup project after a period of significant uncertainty, and secure a long-term economically viable market for our natural gas production in Western Australia," said Thomas M. Maher, vice president of Apache's Australia Region and managing director of Apache Energy Limited. "This ownership stake provides a means to increase the value of our Australian gas reserves because ammonia prices historically have been correlated to the generally higher prices of corn and crude oil on international markets.Apache entered into a revised long-term natural gas supply contract with Burrup Fertilisers in November 2011. "We are pleased to be associated with Yara, which is one of the world's largest producers of ammonia fertilizers and has a long-term off-take agreement for Burrup's production," Maher said.