Australia's Seven Group Holdings has begun a process of testing buyer interest in its 15% shareholding in the Crux offshore gas asset off north-west Australia.

The company said today its "parallel price discovery process" will only lead to a transaction "if an acceptable value threshold can be achieved".

Seven said it is in a strong financial position to see the Crux project through to a final investment decision and into production, "thereby providing an opportunity to realise a highly profitable earnings and cash flow stream expected over a base case production outlook of approximately 15 years".

The dual-track process that is under way gives it the "flexibility to select the most value-accretive shareholder outcome".

Crux is currently being developed by a Shell-led joint venture as a source of backfill gas into Shell's Prelude FLNG vessel.

Front-end engineering and design is more than 50% complete, with a final investment decision targeted for the second quarter of 2020, said Seven, which added Crux is a world-class project that will deliver “super rich” LNG to Asian buyers as early as 2024/25.

Seven said that a notable outcome for Crux during the year was a binding Heads of Agreement between the Crux and Prelude joint ventures for the processing of Crux production through Prelude FLNG.

Crux will be developed via a large normally unmanned remotely operated platform in 165 metres of

water and a 165-kilometre 26-inch diameter subsea pipeline to Prelude.

The owners comprise Shell (82%), Seven (15%) and Osaka Gas (3%).