Woodside first, daylight second for Chevron NWS stake

It's four weeks since Chevron put its 16.67 per cent stake in the North West Shelf project on the block, and investment bankers have returned from (virtual) talks with energy companies and infrastructure funds to test their early appetite.

Chevron announced in June that it would seek to sell out of its stake in the North West Shelf venture. Supplied

And consensus is that there's only one client to work for: Woodside Petroleum.

Woodside is the most logical buyer by the length of the Carnarvon Basin. It has strategic and financial reasons to double its investment in NWS and, as an existing shareholder, has the right to match the bid of any other incoming investor.

It also knows the project better than anyone else, has a warchest of liquidity after deferring its Scarborough, Pluto-2 and Browse projects, and equity market backing to pursue such a transaction.

And it has flagged an early interest in acquiring the stake, at a time when NWS's other investors are taking large writedowns on their Australian assets or are like BHP and no longer in the mood to own LNG infrastructure.