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Preliminary Fourth Quarter and Financial Year 2012 Results

Preliminary Fourth Quarter and Financial Year 2012 Results 
HAMILTON, BERMUDA -- (Marketwire) -- 03/04/13 --   
Highlights 
* Golar LNG ("Golar" or the "Company") reports fourth quarter 2012
operating 
income of $52.9 million (a decrease of 25% from the
third quarter) and net 
income of $22.8 million. 
* Commercial waiting time for Golar Maria and a planned Golar
Spirit     drydocking were principal contributors to reduced revenues
in the quarter. 
* Golar secures five year charter with energy major for the LNG
carrier Maria. 
* Vendor financing provided in respect of the Freeze sale is repaid
after     Golar LNG Partners LP ("Golar Partners") places a five year
NOK 1,300     million (approximately $227 million) unsecured bond. 
* Golar Partners raises net proceeds of $180.1 million from its
second post-IPO equity issue and applies funds to the Golar Grand
purchase. 
* Golar Partners secures $155 million term loan together with a $20
million 
revolving facility in respect of the Nusantara Regas Satu
("NR Satu").     Proceeds were used to repay the outstanding $155
million NR Satu vendor     financing. 
* Accelerated dividend of $0.425 per share in respect of the fourth
quarter 
paid in December 2012. 
Subsequent events 
* Golar Partners completes its third follow-on equity offering
raising net 
proceeds of $130 million. 
* Golar sells its interests in the company that owns and operates
the LNG     carrier Golar Maria to Golar Partners for $215 million. 
* Golar chosen as preferred bidder in Jordan FSRU project,
negotiations to 
commence during Q1 2013. 
* Golar announces plan for launch of new entity to pursue floating
LNG     production and other related midstream LNG projects. 
Notice
regarding this release. 
The  Company is presenting its fourth  quarter results, including
those of Golar
Partners,  on  a  consolidated  basis. The  Company 
is  assessing whether it is appropriate to continue consolidating
Golar Partners under US GAAP from December
13, 2012, the  date of
Golar Partners' first annual meeting of unitholders where
a  majority
 of  independent  directors  were  elected. Golar LNG still
controls
50.9% of  total units in the Company  including subordinated
and General Partner
units.  T
he Company is not able to predict  the
outcome of this assessment as of the  date of  this release,  but
there  is a  significant possibility that Golar
Partners'  numbers 
will  be  de-consolidated, effective December 13, 2012, from
those 
of the Company.   If Golar Partners'  financials are de-consolidated
from
the  Company's, the numbers reported in this release will differ
materially from
the  financial statements  to be  reported by  the
Company  in Form  20-F. It is likely  that net income will increase 
significantly in such case since material
gain on ongoing asset sales
and revaluation of the Golar Partners' position will
have  to be
recorded. The  Company anticipates to file  its Form 20-F within the
ordinary  time limits irrespective of  whether this is on  a
consolidated or
de-consolidated basis. 
Financial Review 
Golar  LNG  Limited  reports  consolidated  net  income  of  $22.8 
million and
consolidated  operating  income  of  $52.9  million  for 
the three months ended
December  31, 2012 (the "fourth quarter").  
Revenues in the fourth quarter were
$111.8  million as compared to
$121.1 million for the third quarter of 2012 (the
"third quarter"). 
The  decrease in revenue reflects close to two months commercial
waiting time by the  Golar  Maria  and  the  as-scheduled  dry-docking
of the Golar Spirit which
commenced  during December.  Together, 
these two factors  also contributed to a reduced  fourth  quarter 
Time  Charter  Equivalent  ("TCE")  of $91,479 per day compared to
$98,473 for the third quarter. ( ) Operating  costs in  the fourth 
quarter increased  to $23.8  million from $19.4
million in the third
quarter.  Most of the increase is due to the Company's move
to 
increase  its  crewing  pool  in  anticipation  of  the soon to be
delivered
newbuilds.  Elevated  operating  costs  in  connection with
preparations for the thirteen vessel deliveries will be on-going
throughout 2013 and 2014. 
Administrative  costs increased from  $4.9 million in  the third
quarter to $6.8
million  in the fourth quarter, however,  underlying
base overhead expenses have
remained  stable.  Increased expense over
third  quarter is primarily related to costs  for the  previously
announced  front end  engineering and design ("FEED")
study on the
FLNG vessel. 
Net  interest expense at $9.9  million increased by $2.2  million
over the third
quarter  cost of $7.7 million.  This increase  is
mainly due to the $227 million
high  yield bond  that Golar  LNG
Partners  issued in  October to refinance the $222.3  million  vendor
 financing  in  respect  of the Freeze dropdown. Higher
interest
expenses following the Norwegian bond issue were partially mitigated
by a decrease in Libor.  Other financial charges are in line with last quarter. 
Financing 
Settlement of Freeze Vendor Financing 
On  September  28, Golar  Partners  successfully  concluded a five
year NOK1,300
million  bond issue in the Norwegian Bond  market that
was closed and settled in October  2012.  The aggregate  principal
amount  of the  bonds is equivalent to approximately $227 million and
has been swapped to USD with an all-in fixed rate
of  6.485%.  Golar
Partners applied  $222.3 million of  the net proceeds against
the 
equivalent outstanding vendor financing provided by Golar in respect
of the Golar  Freeze.  This facility which accrued interest at 6.75%
in favour of Golar
was extinguished on October 12. 
Settlement of Nusantara Regas Satu ("NR Satu") Vendor Financing 
On  December 14, PT Golar Indonesia, the company that owns and
operates the FSRU
NR  Satu executed a syndicated agreement for a $175
million facility. Of this is a  $155 million term loan  tranche and
$20 million  is a revolving loan tranche.
 Drawdown  of the  $155
million  loan took  place in  December with the proceeds
being 
immediately applied against the $155 million vendor loan that the
Company
made  available to Golar LNG Partners when it acquired the NR
Satu from Golar on July 19.  The facility has a term of seven years
with quarterly repayments based
on  a 12 year  profile, industry 
standard covenants  and a  $52.5 million final
balloon settlement
payable at maturity. 
Golar Partners third follow-on equity offering 
Golar  Partners closed  its third  post IPO  public offering of
3,900,000 common
units  on February 5, 2013 at a price of  $29.74 per
common unit.  Golar GP LLC,
the  Partnership's general  partner,
maintained  its 2% general partner interest
and  Golar subscribed to
416,947 common units in a concurrent private placement,
also  at a
price of  $29.74 per unit.  The  net proceeds to the Partnership
from
this  offering  were  approximately  $130  million.   Following
the closing, the Company   owns   12,238,096 common   units   and 
15,949,831 subordinated units
representing  an approximate 48.9%
interest in the Partnership. By virtue of its ownership of the
General Partner which owns 1,153,326 units, the Company's
total
interest in the Partnership now stands at approximately 50.9%. 
Golar Maria 
On  February 7, the Company completed its sale of interests in the
company which
owns  and  operates  the  LNG  carrier  Golar  Maria  to
Golar Partners for $215
million.   Golar Partners f
inanced  the
purchase by  using $125.5 million of the $130  million proceeds from 
the equity offering  that closed on February 5.  As part  of the 
sale, Golar  Partners also  assumed $89.5  million of bank debt in
respect of the vessel. 
As  forecast, the company concluded 2012 with close  to half a
billion in cash.
This  together with the additional $115 million net
proceeds from the Maria sale
will  be primarily used  to fund the 
remaining estimated equity  portion of its newbuilding program. 
Corporate and other matters 
Dividends 
The  Board decided to accelerate the fourth quarter dividend payment
in response
to  the  possibility  of  increased  taxation  of 
dividends  paid after January
1(st) 2013.  Both  the third and fourth
quarter  dividends were paid on December
21, 2012. No  additional
dividend payment  will be made  prior to declaration of the  first 
quarter  dividend  in  2013.The Board  expects  the  dividend to be
distributed  in respect of the Company's first quarter results will
be a minimum
of  $0.445  per  share.  Final  clarification  of  the
dividend will be given in connection with the release of the
Company's first quarter 2013 results. 
Maria Charter 
On  November 29, the  Company announced  that it  had entered  into a
 five year
charter  for the modern LNG carrier, Golar  Maria.  The
vessel had been idle for the  quarter up until this point.  In the 
Board's view the rate achieved with a strong  counter-party made the
vessel an attractive dropdown candidate for Golar
Partners  and lent
support to favourable rates  on the Company's soon to
deliver
tri-fuel  newbuild carriers.   The charter  will run  until
the  end of 2017 and generate an annualized EBITDA of between $22
million and $24 million. 
Chile FSRU 
As  previously  announced,  Golar  has  been  asked  by  Gas  Atacama
Mejillones
Seaport's ("Gas Atacama") to extend the validity of the
contract to provide them
with  an FSRU.  The existing  contract was 
subject to  Gas Atacama achieving a threshold of new power sales
agreements by December 31, 2012. Golar continues in discussions  with
Gas  Atacama in  order to  reach agreement  on such
extension.
However,  no assurance  can be  given that  such extension
 can be concluded at commercially interesting terms for Golar. 
Floating Liquefaction ("FLNG") 
The announcement of Golar's first FLNG vessel has generated
significant interest
and  has been well received by market
participants who recognize the benefits of a  flexible,  fast  track 
solution  that  is  very  competitive with land based
alternatives.  
The Company is targeting projects  with pipeline quality gas and
unconventional  natural gas reserves such  as coal bed methane  and
shale gas or clean and relatively dry gas sourced from offshore or
near-shore fields. 
Golar  continues to progress its FEED study with Keppel Shipyard and
its topside
partners  and completion  is on  target for  mid-2013.
Once the FEED is complete
Golar  will be able to  convert one of the 
three first generation ships into an FLNGV  in approximately 24
months.  The Company is currently in discussions with
an  array  of 
producers,  end  users,  traders and project developers to
secure
employment. 
As  part of the Company's efforts  to progress specific project
opportunities in the  liquefaction space, discussions have continued
with regard to the potential
investment  in the  proposed Douglas 
Channel LNG  project in  British Columbia,
Canada.   The Company
confirmed  on January 18 that  LNG Partners LLC  and Golar
have  been
 awarded  conditional  joint  access  to the purchase and off-take of
700,000 metric tonnes of LNG.  This development is consistent with
the long-held objective to expand the Company's presence along the
midstream LNG value chain.
However, significant obstacles remain and,
as such, participation in the project
and commitment to the LNG
off-take are subject to the Company reaching agreement
to investment
terms and receipt of remaining permits. 
In  response  to  the  promising  outlook  in floating production,
The Board has initiated  plans for the launch of a new subsidiary from
which Golar will pursue
its  midstream project ambitions.  Creating a
 separate company will provide the necessary  focus to fully
capitalize on  the opportunity through the development
of  Golar's
floating production  technical concepts, building  and financing the
vessels, recruiting top qualified personnel and promoting the
development of new LNG  production projects  worldwide.  The  new
company,  which is anticipated to launch  with the  next 1-2 months, 
will take  ownership of  the Company's three
existing  Moss  vessels 
in  anticipation  for possible conversion into floating
production 
units.   The  aim  of  the  new  company  will  be to accelerate the
Company's  move toward full integration across  the LNG midstream and
leveraging
new  projects into greater returns in  combination with
the existing carrier and FSRU franchises.  Golar LNG will initially 
retain minimum 66 % ownership in the new Company. The separation of
the FLNG activities has also the target to create
a  corporate
structure where financing can be optimized and Golar  LNG and
Golar
Production later can be separated in order to avoid any
potential conflicts with
our chartering customers. 
Shares and options 
During  the quarter a total of 96,303 options were exercised. In
connection with
this,  the  Company  issued  96,303 new  shares.  The 
total number of remaining
options   is  580,417. As  at  December 
31, 2012 the  total  number  of shares
outstanding in Golar excluding
options is 80,503,364. 
Shipping 
Despite  a softening market sentiment, the fourth quarter started
with a few FOB and  DES tenders together with diversion
opportunities, creating a more  positive
outlook for short term
shipping transactions. A lengthy force majeure in Nigeria
and 
several  sabotages  on  the  Yemen  LNG pipeline however meant that
several
cargoes  were removed  from the  market creating  a
short-term shipping surplus.
Poor  production in Egypt and Indonesia
in particular accentuated this. Project
vessels  controlled by Angola
LNG, Tangguh LNG,  Yemen LNG and Sakhalin LNG were
circulated  in 
the  market.  Short  term rate sentiment consequently
decreased,
though  rates remained in the  $90,000 to $130,000 per 
day range throughout the period.  Due to  the very  limited shipping 
available for  term contracts, some
medium term opportunities arose. 
As  of  December  31, 2012, the  existing  fleet  consisted  of 365
vessels over
12,000 cbm  (including FSRUs  and trading  FSRUs). The 
order book  stood at 94 vessels  including eight FSRUs, 33 of which 
were ordered in 2012.  One FSRU and two  conventional vessels  have
so  far been  ordered in  2013. In December, the industry  saw the
first  two orders for  LNG vessels with  the M-type
Electronic
controlled  Gas Injection propulsion system, both on a
speculative basis. Around
57% of  the  vessels  on  order  have 
secured  employment including vessels for trading   purposes   with  
the   respective  trading  portfolios.  That leaves
approximately 37
ships unfixed out of which Golar controls 11. 
LNG Market 
Spot  LNG prices  rose throughout  the fourth  quarter, from  the
high $12's per MMbtu to around $17 per MMbtu in December and $20 per
MMbtu in February due to a variety of factors.  An unprecedented
drought in Brazil saw Petrobras continuing
an aggressive buying
strategy throughout the quarter and well into the new-year. In 
Korea, several nuclear  reactors were switched  off due to alleged
component malfunctions  causing the state buyer to aggressively
compete for Atlantic basin
cargoes.  A cold winter in China increased
its imports by up to 20% earlier this
year.  The outage  of nuclear 
power in  Japan combined  with a  relatively cold
winter  meant 
Japanese  utilities  were  very  active  in  the  spot market. In
December,  Argentine ENARSA and YPF launched  a series of tenders for
deliveries
in  2013 for approximately 80-85 cargoes. Turkey's demand
for spot LNG also rose
significantly forcing them to compete for spot
cargoes.  As a consequence of the above,  towards the end of the
year, demand for shipping capacity increased both
in  the Atlantic
and Pacific.  Higher than expected 
ramp  up by Woodside's Pluto
LNG
plant also created some demand. Several cargoes produced in
Australia, Oman,
Qatar  and Brunei were lifted by  short-term
chartered vessels. In the Atlantic,
cargo  diversions out  of Nigeria
 and reloads  out of mainly European terminals
(Spain, Belgium and
France) also utilized short-term chartered vessels. 
Estimated  LNG production during 2012 did not  rise to anticipated
levels due to the  many noted production and feed gas  issues referred
to above. During 2012,
the  re-export market did however exceed 3.5
MMt, which created shipping demand,
as  South America, North Asian
and European markets imported these volumes. The
long-awaited  Angola
LNG facility is  now slated for a  Q2 start-up and a higher
than 
normal fleet-wide program of drydockings  will absorb some vessels.
Rates
remained  resilient in the face of delays and incidents over
the course of 2012
which the Board sees as testimony to the strong
underlying market fundamentals 
LNG  is still  selling at  attractive price  against oil  as measured
 on a burn
parity basis. This together with the environmental
benefits and the flexible use of  LNG as source for the power market
has led to significant build up demand in for  LNG purchases. 
However the important factor for the shipping market in the years  to
come will not be  the demand side but to  what extent producers of
LNG can  bring enough product to the  market to feed this built  up
hunger for LNG . The  strength of the  LNG shipping market  in the
years  to come will be closely
linked  to what  kind of success the
LNG producers will have in debottle necking
existing  facilities and 
also  bringing  their new  volumes into the market in accordance with
original plans. 
FSRUs 
Global  FSRU projects under  development continue to  progress with
one project,
Emirates  LNG making an award in the  fourth quarter. The
contract was concluded
on  terms which Golar did  not find
attractive. While  the Board is disappointed
that Golar was unable to
secure its second project in the region, the Company is encouraged 
by the Jordanian Ministry of  Energy and Mineral Resources'
decision
to  select  Golar  as  preferred  bidder  for  their  FSRU
requirement for which
negotiations  on a firm contract should begin
shortly.  Furthermore, Golar's two speculative  new build  order have
 positioned the  company as  one of only two owners  that are able to
deliver an FSRU  prior to 2015.  Up to three awards are expected  in
the  first half  of 2013, all  for projects  that start prior to or
early in 2015. 
The  Board believes that the  current tightness in the  FSRU fleet
will continue
post-2015 as  existing tonnage has largely been 
consumed and only two firm FSRU
orders  have been  placed for  2015.
As such,  Golar is presently in discussions
with  our newbuilding
yards to retain the option  to convert a number of the 11 existing 
LNG new buildings into FSRUs (while maintaining the ability to
operate
the vessels as standard carriers with the same performance
characteristics). 
The  FSRU market continues to mature and FSRUs are no longer seen as
short term,
stop gap regasification solutions. FSRU tenders now
routinely request 10, 15 and over  20 years terms demonstrating the
market's acceptance of FSRUs are a viable
long  term alternative to 
land based regasification.   Terms such as these make
FSRUs prime
candidates for drop down to Golar LNG Partners. 
Significant  development activity  continues to  take place  in the
Middle East,
India and South America. 
Outlook 
The  Board is  disappointed with  the deterioration  in results  the
Company has shown  in the quarter which were largely  as a result of
commercial waiting time
on Golar Maria.  The chartering environment
that was anticipated coming into the fall  of 2012 did not 
materialize but instead,  the collapse of  the Atlantic / Pacific 
price  arbitrage  and  unanticipated  reductions in production
capacity
resulted  in shorter voyages, less  overall LNG being
shipped,  and a release of incremental  shipping capacity on to the 
market from ailing projects. However,
the  Board's view  is that 
this environment  was clearly  driven by  short term
issues  and thus
does not detract from  the very positive long term fundamentals
to 
which the Company's carrier fleet is exposed.  Looking forward, due
to other
short  term effects and the choppy nature of new production
coming on, investors
should anticipate some level of volatility in
charter rates as the market enters
a  rebalancing period beginning
later this year.  The Board remains pleased with
the  progress made 
in the  recent months  toward the  Company's funding of the
newbuilding  program. The Company is in  active discussions with
various parties
in  regard to debt facilities  to round out the 
funding of the fleet expansion.
The  Board anticipates as stated
before that no new equity is needed to fund the 13 newbuildings,  but
that such funding can be  secured through the bank and the bond
market and further supported by drop downs to Golar Partners. 
The  Board is optimistic  about its position  in the FSRU  space with
two prompt
vessels  set against active  development of new  projects. 
The vast majority of the  opportunities  should  result  in  longer 
term  contract  terms leading to attractive opportunities for Golar
Partners dropdowns. 
The  Board is  also looking  forward to  continued progress  on the
floating LNG project.   The important FEED study is continuing on
schedule with the target to be  concluded in  mid-year 2013. There  
are today  multiple prospects which the Company is looking at. 
However, such prospects, although extremely economically
attractive, 
come  with  significant  execution  and timing uncertainties and as
such,  the Company  faces many  hurdles prior  to realizing upside
earnings from
firm floating LNG production projects. 
Whilst  the Company's management continue  to assess the significant
possibility
of  de-consolidating  Golar  Partners'  results  from 
the  Company's, the Board
understands  that  the  Company  would 
then  account  for  Golar Partners as an investment.  This  will 
mean  that  in  the  income statement, the Company will
recognise 
its share  of after  tax profits  or losses  from Golar Partners. The
Company  would also recognise all future dropdowns  to Golar
Partner's on a fair
value  basis  which  could  lead  to  gains  or
losses on disposal that would be included  within  its  operating 
results  and  therefore  impact  the Company's
retained reserves. The
main impact to the Company's balance sheet will be to
de-recognise
the vessels and associated debt that Golar Partners owns or leases
and also  the non-controlling  interest in  Golar Partners,  but then
recognise the investment   in   Golar   Partners  on  a  fair  value 
basis  on  the date  of deconsolidation and therefore immediately
realise increased equity reserves. 
The  operating results for the first q
uarter of 2013 will be
negatively impacted
by  the  continuing  scheduled  dry-docking  of 
Golar Spirit which commenced in December  2012 and is estimated  to
be out  of service in  the first quarter for approximately  eight
weeks.  Further,  Golar Winter is  anticipated to begin its scheduled
 dry-docking towards  the end  of the  first quarter  of 2013 when
the vessel  is expected to be  offhire for a total  of approximately
six weeks. On a consolidated  basis,  operating  results  are 
expected  to  improve from fourth
quarter 2012 to first quarter 2013
and remain relatively flat for the second and third quarter of 2013. 
Operating  results for the Golar Group, are  likely to show a
significant growth
when new tonnage capacity commence operations
during fourth quarter 2013. 
The  Board is confident in the way the  Company is positioned for the
long term.
However, shareholders should expect high volatility in the
short term chartering
market  as a function of any delays  in
production start ups and irregularity in current  production. The 
Board sees  extremely attractive  economics in the new FLNG segment,
however significant completion risk exists. 
Forward Looking Statements 
This  press release  contains forward  looking statements.  These
statements are based  upon various assumptions, many of which  are
based, in turn, upon further
assumptions,  including examination of 
historical operating trends  made by the management  of  Golar. 
Although  Golar  believes  that  these  assumptions were
reasonable 
when made, because assumptions are inherently subject to
significant
uncertainties  and contingencies, which  are difficult or
 impossible to predict
and are beyond its control, Golar LNG cannot
give assurance that it will achieve
or accomplish these expectations,
beliefs or intentions. 
Included  among  the  factors  that,  in  the Company's view, could
cause actual
results  to differ materially  from the forward  looking
statements contained in this  press 
 release  are  the  following: 
inability  of  the Company to obtain
financing  for the new building
vessels at all or on favorable terms; changes in demand;  a material 
decline or  prolonged weakness  in rates  for LNG carriers;
political
 events affecting production in areas in which natural gas is
produced
and  demand for natural  gas in areas  to which our  vessels
deliver; changes in demand  for  natural  gas  generally  or  in 
particular regions; changes in the financial   stability  of  our 
major  customers;  adoption  of  new  rules and
regulations 
applicable to LNG carriers and  FSRU's; actions taken by
regulatory
authorities  that may prohibit the  access of LNG carriers
 or FSRU's to various
ports; our inability to achieve successful
utilization of our expanded fleet and inability  to expand beyond 
the carriage of  LNG; increases in costs including:
crew  wages,
insurance, provisions, repairs  and maintenance; changes in
general
domestic  and  international  political  conditions;  the
current turmoil in the global  financial  markets  and  deterioration
 thereof;  changes  in applicable
maintenance  or  regulatory 
standards  that  could  affect our anticipated dry-docking or
maintenance and repair costs; our ability to timely complete our FSRU
conversions;  failure of shipyards to comply with delivery schedules
on a timely
basis  and other factors listed from time to time in
registration statements and reports  that we  have filed  with or 
furnished to  the Securities and Exchange
Commission,   including  
our   Annual   Report  on  Form  20-F  and subsequent
announcements 
and  reports.  Nothing  contained  in  this  press  release
shall
constitute an offer of any securities for sale. 
March 4, 2013 
The Board of Directors 
Golar LNG Limited 
Hamilton, Bermuda. 
Golar LNG Preliminary Fourth Quarter and Financial Year 2012 Results:
http://hugin.info/133076/R/1682756/550555.pdf 
This announcement is distributed by Thomson Reuters on behalf of
Thomson Reuters clients. The owner of this announcement warrants
that: 
(i) the releases contained herein are protected by copyright and    
other applicable laws; and 
(ii) they are solely responsible for the content, accuracy and     
originality of the information contained therein. 
Source: Golar LNG via Thomson Reuters ONE 
[HUG#1682756] 
Questions should be directed to:
Golar Management Limited
+44 207 063 7900 
Doug Arnell
Chief Executive Officer 
Brian Tienzo
Chief Financial Officer
 
 
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