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Cooper considering Sole financing options

Written by  AOG Staff Sunday, 16 July 2017 20:11
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ASX-listed Cooper Energy is pursuing a dual stream process to secure the optimal financing for its Sole gas project and company shareholders.

The options currently under consideration include senior bank project finance and senior secured bonds. In respect of project finance, Cooper is continuing the engagement with the senior bank market commenced some months ago as part of this process.

The Adelaide-based firm also remains engaged with international capital markets to assess availability and suitability of finance from the issue of senior secured bonds.

“We expect to make a decision on our preferred source of debt funding within August, having regard to optimizing our capital structure and value for shareholders. The timelines associated with our financing process remain consistent with our timeline for first gas from the Sole project,” managing director David Maxwell said.

The Sole gas project involves the development of the Sole gas field, located offshore Victoria for the supply of 249 PJ of gas, commencing in 2019. It is expected to supply 25 PJ per annum, approximately 20 PJ per annum of which has already been contracted to a portfolio of gas buyers including AGL Energy, EnergyAustralia, Alinta Energy and O-I Australia.

Gas from Sole is to be produced from two development wells and transported by subsea pipeline to the Orbost Gas Plant for processing prior to supply to customers via the Eastern Gas Pipeline. The project involves offshore development to be undertaken by Cooper which is estimated to cost AU$355 million and an estimated $250 million upgrade to the Orbost Gas Plant, which under an agreement is to be undertaken by the APA Group.

Cooper will develop the Sole gas project and APA will acquire, upgrade, and operate the Orbost Gas Plant to process gas from Sole and potentially other fields. The transaction also includes an option for the processing of gas from Cooper’s Manta gas project which the company is planning to develop subsequent to Sole.

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