Santos, Kumul amend PNG LNG deal

Australian LNG player Santos has agreed to amend the terms of sale of its 2.6 percent stake in the PNG LNG project to Papua New Guinea’s national oil and gas company Kumul Petroleum.

According to a statement by Santos issued on Thursday, Kumul has paid $352 million to Santos, equivalent to a 1.6 percent interest, on January 31, 2024 to allow partial completion of the transaction.

Santos said the amendment provides additional time for Kumul to pay the remaining purchase price of $241 million.

“Until final completion, Santos retains control of the entity holding the 2.6 percent and in order to assist with purchase of the remaining interest, future project distributions associated with the interest sold to Kumul will be applied to acquiring the remaining interest,” the firm said.

In September last year, Santos received a binding offer from Kumul to buy a 5 percent stake in the PNG LNG project.

Santos agreed in December to extend the exclusivity period for the sale until April 30, 2023, and extended the exclusivity period again in May until August 31, 2023.

The two firms executed a binding sale agreement for a 2.5 percent stake on August 31, and in December Kumul secured funding to buy the stake.

Besides this, Santos has agreed to grant Kumul a call option to acquire a further 2.4 percent participating interest in PNG LNG for a cash purchase price of $524 million, plus a proportionate share of project finance debt.

Santos currently has a 42.5 percent stake in the 6.9 mtpa LNG export plant in Caution Bay following the Oil Search merger, while Kumul has a 16.8 percent stake.

ExxonMobil holds a 33.2 percent operating interest in PNG LNG.

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