July 16, 2020 / 4:21 AM / 22 days ago

Australia's FAR says 'good' interest in its Senegal oil project stake

(Reuters) - Australia’s FAR Ltd said on Thursday it has received a “good level of interest” in the sale of its 15% stake in the $4.2 billion Sangomar oil and gas project being developed off Senegal.

FAR said in March it had failed to secure debt to fund the more than $300 million it needs for its share of the project after global oil prices collapsed amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The company defaulted on its project contributions in June and noted it would forfeit its interest without compensation if obligations were not fulfilled within six months.

FAR said on Thursday it would continue to cease making payments to conserve cash.

“As time progresses and global markets continue to be stressed, there remains uncertainty around FAR’s ability to conclude a financing option,” Managing Director Cath Norman said.

“At this point in time, a sale or partial sale is a more likely outcome. FAR has run data rooms for this purpose and has had good level of interest.”

Cairn Energy holds 40% of Sangomar, operator Australia’s Woodside 35%, and Senegal’s national oil company Petrosen 10%, which it has the right to increase to 18%.

In a further effort to save cash, FAR said is looking to bring in a partner for its Gambian assets before proceeding with drilling at the project in 2021.

Reporting by Anushka Trivedi in Bengaluru; editing by Richard Pullin

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