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Senex Energy lines up U.S. partner to fund Australia gas project


Petroleumworld.com 02 02 2017

Senex Energy Ltd said on Wednesday it has lined up EIG Global Energy Partners to provide up to $300 million to back a coal seam gas project in Australia, which could help ease a pending gas shortage in the country's east.

Australia's eastern states face a gas crunch from 2018 as demand is set to triple to feed liquefied natural gas exports, while supply growth has been curbed by states opposed to some onshore drilling.

Senex said it had raised A$55 million ($41.67 million) in a share sale to funds managed by EIG and other institutional investors at 31.5 cents a share, and was seeking to raise a further A$40 million from shareholders.

Funds raised will help the company advance its Western Surat gas project in Queensland, boost oil and gas output in the Cooper Basin and look for opportunities to deliver gas into the east coast market, Senex said.

At the same time EIG has committed to provide up to $300 million for Senex's Western Surat gas project in Queensland.

"The Western Surat Gas Project is in prime position to supply gas into the structurally short east coast gas market," EIG Chief Executive Blair Thomas said in a statement, adding that now was the "opportune time" to develop Senex's assets.

EIG already owns about 2.7 percent of Senex and agreed to buy about A$46 million in new shares, which would give it a 12 percent stake in Senex following the capital raising.

Senex shares rose 7.1 percent to 30 cents following the announcement. ($1 = 1.3200 Australian dollars)

Reporting by Sonali Paul; Editing by Stephen Coates from Reuters

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