Nexus Reduces Stake in Shell-Operated Crux LNG Development

Nexus Energy revealed Wednesday that it has exercised a put option to sell a 2 percent stake in the Crux AC/L9 development project to Shell.

The deal, worth $79 million (AUD 75 million), will see Nexus' interest in the project drop to 15%. Shell's share in the project increases to 85%, while Osaka Gas maintains its 3% stake; the former is also the operator of the Crux venture.

Nexus said that $32 million (AUD 30 million) of the proceeds will be used to retire its Longtorn facility debt, while $34.6 million (AUD 32.9 million) will be used for a notes repayment due Jan.15, 2013.

The company also revealed in its statement that it could sell a further interest in Crux to meet its near-term financial obligations.

"Looking ahead, there are a number of additional funding sources available to the company including a restructuring of existing debt facilities, operating cash flows generated by Longtorn, and the sell-down of a further interest in Crux," Nexus' Managing Director & CEO Lucio Della Martina said in the statement.

Nexus noted earlier in November that it is keen to work with its joint venture partners to develop Crux as a standalone floating liquefied natural gas (LNG) project. The company's announcement about its preference on developing the Crux project was made amid media and consultant reports on high-profile LNG projects in Australia struggling with large project cost blowouts.

Shell also stated in November that it could delay further final investment decisions relating to new LNG projects in Australia amid permitting, infrastructure and development bottlenecks.

The field is estimated to hold 1.8 trillion cubic feet of gas and 66 million barrels of liquids, a Nov. 17, 2011 published presentation by Nexus showed.



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