Australia’s foreign investment policies clarified for oil and gas sector

By Michael Sheng and James Bruining, Ashurst

The Australian government’s foreign investment policy has been updated to help clarify the “national interest” test for foreign investment proposals and the circumstances in which investments by state-owned entities will require Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) approval.

Change is also on the way in the state of Queensland, with the introduction of a Prospective Gas Production Land Reservation Policy and proposed amendments to address issues in respect of overlapping coal seam gas and coal production tenements.

In 2010, the Australian government updated its foreign investment policy to clarify the way foreign investment proposals are assessed. The policy now requires “foreign governments and their related entities” to seek foreign investment clearance prior to making a direct investment in Australia, regardless of the investment value. A “direct investment” is an investment with the objective of establishing a lasting interest in, and a strategic long-term relationship with, the target enterprise. This change removes the former blanket requirement for foreign investment clearance that applied to all investments by state-owned entities, irrespective of size.

You must be a subscribersubscribersubscribersubscriber to read this content, please subscribesubscribesubscribesubscribe today.

For group subscribers, please click here to access.
Interested in group subscription? Please contact us.



Michael Sheng is a partner in the Shanghai office of Blake Dason and James Bruining is a partner in Ashurst’s energy and resources group in Perth

Blake Dawson Shanghai office

Suites 3408-10, CITIC Square

1168 Nanjing Road West, Shanghai

Postal code: 200041

Tel: 86 21 6263 1888

Fax: 86 21 6263 1999