19/12/2012 - 11:34

Nexus to sell 2 per cent of Crux stake

19/12/2012 - 11:34


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Nexus to sell 2 per cent of Crux stake

Nexus Energy has exercised a put option to sell 2 per cent of its 17 per cent stake in the Crux gas field off the northwest coast to Royal Dutch Shell for $75 million.

Nexus said the decision to exercise the option, which was agreed to as part of a consolidation of interest transaction with Shell and Osaka Gas, was made to retire debts and boost working capital.

Approximately $30 million of the proceeds will be used to reduce its finance facility  for the Longtom gas project in Victoria's Gippsland Basin, and $32.9 million will be used for a convertible notes repayment due on January 15.

Following completion of the transaction, the participating interests in the Crux joint venture will be Nexus with a 15 per cent stake, Shell with 82 per cent and Osaka Gas 3 per cent.

The joint venture is considering various development options for Crux, including a standalone LNG development or becoming part of Shell’s Prelude floating LNG project.

The Crux field contains around 2.2 trillion cubic feet of gas and 74 million barrels of liquids.

“The exercise of the put option and consequent debt retirement will immediately strengthen the company’s balance sheet, improve gearing and reduce future finance costs,” managing director Lucio Della Martina said.

“Looking ahead, there are a number of additional funding sources available to the company including restructuring of existing debt facilities, operating cash flows generated by Longtom, and the sell down of a further interest in Crux.

“We are positioned to manage our near-term obligations while maintaining a solid financial platform from which to operate and grow the business.”

At 11:30AM, WST, Nexus shares were up 3.5 per cent, at 14.5 cents.




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