FAR eyes $350 million debt facility for SNE development

Australia-based FAR Limited has made plans to arrange a seven-year debt facility of up to $350 million for the development of the SNE oil field located offshore Senegal.

SNE field development
SNE field development; Source: Woodside

Woodside is the operator of the Rufisque Offshore, Sangomar Offshore and Sangomar Deep Offshore (RSSD) joint venture, which includes the SNE field, with a 35% interest. Woodside’s partners are Cairn Energy, FAR, and Petrosen with 40%, 15%, and 10% interest, respectively.

FAR has previously indicated that it has a broad range of financing options for the development of the SNE field under investigation. In anticipation, FAR has for some time been seeking the best debt financing solution for the company.

FAR said on Thursday there was a range of possible financing methods available for consideration, but the company had been most pleased with the responses from a range of Australian and international banks. The company has decided to pursue a conventional bank lending arrangement as the preferred option.

As part of this process, FAR has appointed Macquarie Bank Limited as an arranger of a debt facility to arrange and manage the syndication of the facility, which will amount up to $350 million and have a seven-year term.

Other terms of the debt facility will include all-in interest below 10% (margin + LIBOR)(payable on drawn funds); commitment fee of 40% of margin (payable on undrawn funds); Senior secured on FAR’s 13.67%  interest in SNE with the support of a parent company guarantee from FAR Limited

FAR is targeting binding and committed terms upon completion of each banks’ credit approval process on or before the end of 2019.

The company noted that, while there was substantial progress on the financing, no commitment to provide finance had been provided to date, and credit approval and underwriting from the banks had not yet been achieved and therefore it was not certain that financing would proceed as outlined.

FAR managing director, Cath Norman, said, “On October 30, FAR released the economic data for the development of the world-class SNE oil field, offshore Senegal. SNE’s robust project economics, underpinned by attractive fiscal terms and an experienced offshore operator has seen significant interest by banks over the last 3 months in providing a debt facility.”

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