Origin Energy says it had to act after agreeing to fork out up to $US800 million ($A865.57 million) for a stake in a new gas project off the Western Australian coast.

The company, Australia’s largest electricity retailer and generator, has taken on a potential second major liquefied natural gas (LNG) project a year before its flagship $24.7 billion Queensland project comes online. Origin has struck a deal to buy junior Karoon Gas’s 40 per cent interest in the Poseidon discovery in…