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WestSide considers funding for gas field expansion

LNG Industry,

WestSide Corporation Limited is assessing funding proposals and indicative term sheets received from several potential lenders to finance an expansion of the Meridian gas field near Moura in central Queensland. Gas from the Meridian field will be used to supply Santos’ Gladstone LNG project.

WestSide's Managing Director Mike Hughes said a number of Australian-based and international financiers have proposed debt facilities sufficient to fund WestSide's 51% share of the expected cost of expanding the Meridian gas field to produce up to 65 Terajoules per day (TJ/d).

Hughes explained: "The responses from a variety of prospective financiers have increased the Board's confidence that an attractive credit facility can be secured to fully fund WestSide's share of the field development.

"Our aim is to fund an accelerated expansion of the Meridian gas field without diluting existing shareholders through additional equity capital raisings."

GLNG project

The Meridian joint venture has a 20-year gas sales agreement to supply up to 65 TJ/d to the participants of the GLNG project at Gladstone. The agreement with GLNG provides WestSide with flexibility for a staged ramp up in supply volume from 2015.

This flexibility enables WestSide to plan a field development, which it can fund from available financial resources. While WestSide can fund its share of the expansion to 65 TJ/d without sourcing any additional funding by using its existing cash balances and projected cash flows, gas delivery can be accelerated if additional capital is secured.

WestSide expects to receive several more debt funding proposals over the next few days, in addition to those currently being assessed. The company plans to reach financial close on a funding facility with a preferred financier in Q4 2014.

Adapted from press release by Katie Woodward

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