BHP Billiton offloads its interest in $45 billion LNG project to PetroChina

The world's largest miner BHP Billiton (ASX: BHP) has sold its $1.7 billion stake in the $45 billion Browse liquefied natural gas project in Western Australia (WA) to PetroChina, the International Business Times reported Sunday.

The sale was finalized on Friday in Beijing.

The company in charge of operations, Woodside, will use a floating LNG technology to develop gas resources in WA's Browse Basin.

The original plan to develop near Broome, WA, was met with strong opposition from environmentalists in the state's northwest and was shelved two months ago when the company decided that commercial returns were unlikely.