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Challenges ahead for Australia’s mature assets

Competition for a shrinking pool of capital may put the country’s older offshore oil and gas fields on the back foot in the coming years

Australia has long promoted itself as a low-risk investment destination, which has made it attractive to developers looking to add low-risk, end-of-life production assets to their portfolios. But the collapse of two high-profile sales in recent months, coupled with increasing regulatory scrutiny over abandonment and decommissioning obligations, suggest the sector is in for leaner times. Aborted processes ExxonMobil and Italy’s Eni have both shelved plans to divest stakes in mature offshore assets. Eni put plans to offload its Australia holdings, estimated to be worth c.$1bn, on pause in January, reportedly after receiving offers far short of its expectations. The company owns stakes in a r

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