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Santos Obtains $1.2 Billion in Financing to Help Fund LNG Plans

Dec. 23 (Bloomberg) -- Santos Ltd., the Australian energy company building the $16 billion Gladstone liquefied natural gas project in Queensland state, obtained $1.2 billion in debt facilities backed by three government export credit agencies.

The financing means Australia’s third-biggest oil and gas producer has more than $7 billion of funding available, Andrew Seaton, Adelaide-based Santos’s chief financial officer, said today in a statement. Export credit agencies from Australia, Canada and Italy helped obtain the loans.

Santos is among energy companies in Australia building or planning about A$200 billion ($203 billion) of LNG ventures to meet rising Asian demand for the fuel. Aside from Gladstone, Santos is also involved in the proposed Bonaparte LNG project off northern Australia with GDF Suez, and is a partner in the $15.7 billion Exxon Mobil Corp.-led LNG venture in Papua New Guinea.

The new facilities include a $280 million loan from Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd., HSBC Holdings Plc and Citigroup Inc., which was supported by Italian state-owned export-credit agency SACE SpA, according to the statement.

The same banks also provided a facility of as much as $250 million backed by Australia’s Export Finance & Insurance Corp.

ANZ, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd., Commonwealth Bank of Australia, National Australia Bank Ltd. and Export Development Canada provided a $670 million facility, which matures in 2019, according to the statement.

To contact the reporters on this story: James Paton in Sydney at jpaton4@bloomberg.net; Sarah McDonald in Sydney at smcdonald23@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Amit Prakash at aprakash1@bloomberg.net

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