Former rag trader set to make hundreds of millions from gas investment
A former fabric trader looks set for one of the biggest pay days of the downturn when he sells a coal-seam gas lease in Queensland's Surat Basin.
Paul Fudge is the owner of private resources company Pangaea. His company owns a coal-seam gas lease called ATP 788, which sits a short distance from coal-seam gas projects operated by energy giants such as Origin Energy, Queensland Gas and Santos.
Fudge, with the help of investment banks JP Morgan and Investec, is currently selling the lease, and companies such as Royal Dutch Shell, ConocoPhillips, BG Group and Petronas are likely to cast their eye over the lease, after spending $22 billion on coal-seam gas assets in the last yhar.
According to The Australian Financial Review, the lease is conservatively worth $390 million, but could go for up to $730 million based on the rash of recent deals in the white-hot coal-seam area.
This won't be Fudge's first pay day. In February 2006, when coal-seam gas was still an unknown quantity, Pagnaea sold a number of assets to Origin Energy for $70 million, although most of this windfall has been reinvested in the business.
Fudge got into the industry on the suggestion of a friend and assembled a team of Australian and North American experts to help him find assets.
"I could see a dynamic, a real opportunity to participate in a new industry that is changing the face of Queensland, if not the east coast of Australia," Fudge told The Australian Financial Review.