(EnergyAsia, October 31, Friday) — Australian upstream company Origin Energy Limited said US energy firm, ConocoPhillips, has received approval from the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) to acquire a 50% share of a coal-seam gas (CSG)-to-LNG joint venture with Origin. The transaction is now unconditional.

ConocoPhillips will now have to make an up-front payment of US$5 billion, contribute an additional sum of A$1.15 billion to carry Origin’s share of costs to Final Investment Decision (FID) expected end 2010, and additional payments of US$500 million at the point that each of four proposed LNG trains is approved, to partly carry Origin’s share of costs.

Origin said it will receive the up-front payment of US$5 billion upon settlement of the transaction. Given the size and nature of the transaction, settlement will take place over two consecutive business days and is expected to be completed in approximately one week’s time.

The company will also include the payment of an additional 25 Australian cents per share dividend and an on-market buy-back of shares.