Santos to buy ConocoPhillips northern Australia business for $1.39 billion

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(Reuters) – Australian oil and gas producer Santos Ltd (AX:) on Monday said it would acquire the northern Australia business of ConocoPhillips (N:), the world’s largest independent oil and gas producer, for $1.39 billion.

ConocoPhillips’ northern Australia business has operating interests in the “long-life low cost gas assets” Darwin LNG, Bayu-Undan, Barossa and Poseidon, Santos said.

The deal consideration has an additional A$75 million ($50.93 million) payment contingent on final investment decision (FID) on the Barossa asset, which is expected by early 2020.

The Barossa gas export pipeline is a planned new source of gas to the Darwin liquefied (LNG) facility when its existing offshore gas supply from another nearby facility is exhausted.

“Santos intends to manage gearing within our stated operating range and is targeting to selldown equity in Darwin LNG and Barossa to 40-50% in order to create alignment between joint venture participants,” the company said in a statement.

ConocoPhillips said in a separate statement that the assets being sold produced about 50,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (MBOED) in the first half of 2019, adding that the sale is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2020.

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