Oil Search to raise $700 million

Papua new Guinea-focused LNG producer Oil Search is looking to raise up to A$1.16 billion ($700 million) through a discounted share sale to weather a prolonged period of low oil prices.

Oil Search said on Tuesday the raising would be conducted at A$2.10 per share.

This represents a 23.1 percent discount to its last closing price.

Abu Dhabi investment fund Mubadala, which is the largest shareholder in OIl Search, will not participate in the equity raise.

Oil prices have dropped considerably since the beginning of this year due to the effects of the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic.

This caused many oil and gas companies to reduce spending and cut operating costs.

Oil Search said the raising would provide it sufficient liquidity to December 31, 2021.

This is assuming the average Brent oil price remains at a low of $20 per barrel or higher from April 2020 onwards.

Further to the equity raising, Oil Search said it would review its operating costs by June.

The company has extended the maturity of its $300 million loan facilities from September 2020 to June 2021.

Oil Search says 2020 production guidance of 27.5 to 29.5 million barrels of oil equivalent remains unchanged, assuming there would not be any business interruption from Covid-19.

Oil Search owns a 29 percent interest in the PNG LNG project.

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