November 14, 2019 / 5:23 AM / a month ago

UPDATE 1-Australia's FAR appoints Macquarie for $350 mln Senegal loan facility

(Adds shares, details on facility, background)

Nov 14 (Reuters) - Australia’s FAR Ltd said on Thursday it appointed Macquarie Bank as the arranger for a $350 million debt facility to develop the SNE oil field off Senegal, weeks after it laid out a new plan to help secure funding for the project.

Shares of the Melbourne-based oil and gas explorer reversed course after the announcement to trade 1.9% higher, compared with a 0.6% rise in the broader market.

Financing had been in limbo for sometime amid uncertainty over the site’s development plan and an arbitration in which FAR is challenging project operator Woodside Petroleum Ltd’s acquisition of a 35% stake in the project in 2016.

Last month, FAR said capital costs to develop the oil field have risen 40% to $4.2 billion, as the project partners decided to buy rather than lease a ship for the project.

The company said on Thursday it is seeking the debt facility against a 13.67% stake in the project.

FAR currently owns 15% of the project, although its interest will reduce to 13.67% if the Senegal government exercises an option to increase its stake in the venture.

The oil and gas explorer said it is targeting binding and committed terms upon completion of each banks’ credit approval process on or before the end of 2019.

Reporting by Anushka Trivedi in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Schmollinger and Aditya Soni

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