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Cooper confirms Sole FID

Written by  AOG Staff Tuesday, 29 August 2017 22:30
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Cooper Energy announced that the final investment decision (FID) for the Sole gas project off the Victorian coast in Australia, has been confirmed with the execution of a fully underwritten finance package.

The finance package includes an AU$250 million senior secured bank debt facility fully underwritten by Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) and Natixis, Hong Kong Branch, (Natixis), a senior secured $15 million working capital facility provided by ANZ and a fully underwritten accelerated no renounceable entitlement offer to raise approximately $135 million.

The finance package will fund the remaining Sole gas project capital cost, as well as provide additional funding and liquidity requirements associated with bank finance and capital expenditure identified for the company’s offshore and onshore Otway Basin and Cooper basin operations and maintenance of the offshore Gippsland basin facilities.

The Sole gas project involves the development of the field to commence supply of gas to south-east Australia in 2019. Under agreements, APA Group will acquire the Orbost Gas Plant and undertake the $250 million plant upgrade and process gas from the Sole field and other fields. Cooper, the 100% interest holder in the Sole gas field, is responsible for the $355 million offshore development and shore crossing to the Orbost Gas Plant.

Cooper managing director David Maxwell said, “The package announced today allows FID for Sole and the pursuit of other near term gas opportunities at a time of great market need. Our reserves have increased nearly four times and the development of Sole sets the company on a growth trajectory offering a five-fold increase in production in the years to 2020.

“The fully underwritten debt facility from major banks, ANZ and Natixis, underscores the quality of the Sole project and of the other opportunities in our portfolio which include 112 PJ of uncontracted gas, as well as the Manta opportunity, in south-east Australia,” he added.

“Gas prices have consolidated in recent months and this, together with the ongoing enquiry levels for our uncontracted gas, provides high confidence in the business case for incremental development of our existing gas operations”.

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