July 20 (Reuters) - Woodside Petroleum Ltd, Australia's biggest independent oil and natural gas company, has decided to pull out of Sempra Energy's Port Arthur liquefied natural gas (LNG) export project in Texas, Sempra said on Friday.
"Woodside has been evaluating whether to invest equity in the project, but has recently decided not to pursue that investment further as it wishes to focus on integrated E&P, rather than U.S. Gulf Coast LNG infrastructure investments like Port Arthur LNG," California-based Sempra said in a statement.
Woodside Chief Executive Peter Coleman said last month the project's ability to provide it with an adequate return is "very challenged."
Sempra and Woodside had agreed to share the cost of developing Port Arthur in February 2016. The project, which Sempra said could cost $8 billion to $9 billion, includes two liquefaction trains capable of producing about 11 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) of LNG, up to three storage tanks and facilities to load LNG onto ships.
Sempra will continue the development of the liquefaction project, the U.S. energy company said adding, it is "in discussions with many other LNG buyers from Europe and Asia about the project, including LNG purchase and a potential equity investment." (Reporting by Eileen Soreng in Bengaluru; Editing by Richard Chang)