Australian independent Cooper Energy has agreed to spend up to A$330 million (US$230 million) to buy an onshore gas processing plant in southeast Australia as a means of improving its access to gas-hungry domestic markets.

Cooper said it will buy from APA Group the Orbost gas processing plant for between A$270 million and A$330 million.

The plant already processes gas from Cooper's Sole offshore gas field in the Gippsland basin, and delivers gas into the southeast Australia gas market via a nearby pipeline connection into the Eastern Gas Pipeline.