Australia's FAR shareholders approve sale of prized Senegal oil stake to Woodside

  • Reuters
  • Stock Market News
Australia's FAR shareholders approve sale of prized Senegal oil stake to Woodside
Credit: © Reuters.

By Sonali Paul

MELBOURNE, April 28 (Reuters) - Shareholders of FAR Ltd FAR.AX on Wednesday approved the sale of a stake in the $4.6 billion Sangomar oil project off Senegal to Woodside Petroleum WPL.AX , giving up holding in a field the explorer discovered seven years ago.

FAR was forced to sell its stake in the Sangomar field, the world's biggest oil find in 2014, after losing a four-year battle to acquire Woodside's interest in the project and then failing to line up debt to fund its share of the development amid last year's oil price crash. ONGC ONGC.NS last year bid $45 million for FAR's 13.67% stake, but Woodside exercised its right to match the offer.

FAR said shareholders voted 97% in favour of selling the stake to Woodside, after Remus Horizons failed to come through with a takeover offer for the company. acquisition boosts Woodside's stake in Sangomar to 82%, after it last year bought Cairn Energy 's CNE.L holding, blocking a bid from Russia's Lukoil LKOH.MM . The remainder is held by the Senegal government.

Woodside plans to sell up to a 42% stake in the project to raise funds and cut its share of the project cost.

Woodside's interim chief executive, Meg O'Neill, said last week the company would open a data room for the sale after FAR shareholders voted.

"We'd like to see what the market appetite is as the oil price increases. And as we get closer to first oil, I suspect we'll have strong interest from a number of quality buyers," O'Neill told Reuters.

She declined to comment on whether Woodside would be comfortable with Lukoil as a partner. Lukoil not only tried to buy Cairn's stake in the project but made an aborted bid for FAR. last week hiked its cost estimate on the Sangomar project by 10% to $4.6 billion, saying the increase reflected COVID-19 related pressures, further engineering work and development well planning. ($1=1.2910 Australian dollars)

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