Marape is Eager to Help Santos Ltd
by PNG Business News - October 18, 2021
Photo credit: PNG PM Media
Santos Ltd is a fresh entrance into the country's petroleum sector, and Prime Minister James Marape is looking forward to assisting it.
In Port Moresby, he recently met with Santos managing director and chief executive officer Kevin Gallagher.
Santos' merger with Oil Search Ltd was explained to Marape, as well as the company's broad strategic goals, long-term commitments, particular processes, and projected merger timescales.
“It was important for me to recognise the commercial nature of this merger and the regulatory processes which it is following,” he said.
“The meeting provided me with the basic appreciation of the intentions of this merger and the timelines.
“I congratulate Santos on its move to expand its presence in the country.
“I also look forward to supporting the new entity as our successive governments have done for Oil Search in the past.”
Oil Search Ltd has a long history with PNG, according to Marape, and while the merger would result in a renaming of the company, the new organization would be considerably larger.
“It will provide a stronger balance sheet for important developments in all the Oil Search and Santos licences in PNG,” he said. “This is a positive development in terms of PNG investment destination aspirations.”
Santos also informed Marape on their governance, people development, and commercial arrangements, as well as new energy concepts and future talks on critical issues including equity post-merger.
“I was especially delighted to hear Santo’s willingness to engage in discussions about the future outlook of the company because it resonates well with our government’s position to look at key national empowerment interests.”
He was in attendance at the meeting with Governor William Powi of the Southern Highlands, Kumul Petroleum Holdings Ltd managing director Wapu Sonk, and Secretary to the Prime Minister's Department Ivan Pomaleu.
Reference: The National (14 October 2021). “Marape keen to support Santos”.
PNG Business News - July 22, 2021
Oil Search Considering Merging with Santos
Santos, an Australian oil firm, announced its plan to combine with Oil Search Limited. Santos proposed a non-binding indicative merger last month with the goal of making the two companies the regional energy champions. The proposed merged entity has a market capitalization of A$22 billion (K56 billion), putting it among the top 20 ASX-listed companies and the top 20 global oil and gas companies. This means, among other things, that the merger will have a diverse portfolio of high-quality, long-life assets spanning Australia and Papua New Guinea, a solid balance sheet with ample cash to support expansion choices, and an investment-grade credit rating. The merger plan, if approved, would be conducted through a Scheme of Arrangement in which Oil Search shareholders would receive 0.589 new Santos shares for each Oil Search share held, according to Santos in a market disclosure to the Australian Stock Exchange. Following the scheme's acceptance, Oil Search shareholders would control 37% of the combined company, while Santos shareholders would own 63%. Based on Santos' closing price on June 24, 2021, the ownership ratio suggested a transaction price of A$4.25 (10.92) per Oil Search share. This was a 12.3% premium to the Oil Search closing price of A$3.78 (K9.72) on June 24, 2021, and a 9.8% premium to the Mubadala block trade selling price of A$3865. (K9.92). Kevin Gallagher, managing director and chief executive officer of Santos, said the merger will bring more alignment to PNG, allowing for the development of important projects such as Papua LNG, as well as the creation of new employment and support for the local economy. Santos, according to Gallagher, has proposed a true merger in which ownership of the combined firm is based on proportionate contribution and value. “The strategic rationale for a merger is clear and offers superior value to Oil Search shareholders rather than continuing on a standalone basis. “Santos continues to believe that the Merger Proposal represents an extremely attractive opportunity to deliver compelling value accretion to both Santos and Oil Search shareholders.” Oil Search stated in its ASX market update that it is open to receiving and engaging with any proposal that is in the best interests of its shareholders. While the company's board of directors agrees with Santos that combining the two firms makes strategic sense, the conditions must be fair to the company's shareholders, which the terms proposed by Santos are not. Despite Santos shareholders holding 70% more shares than Oil Search shareholders, Oil Search maintains that the proposed conditions provide just a 6.8% premium based on Friday's closing share prices for Oil Search and Santos. According to the firm, no such proposal has been made at this time. Reference: Post-Courier (21 July 2021). "Oil Search Open To Merger with Santos".
PNG Business News - August 02, 2021
Santos Agrees Proposed Merger with Oil Search
Photo Credit: JASON REED/REUTERS Santos and Oil Search have reached an agreement on the merger ratio under the proposed merger and the additional terms set out in this release (“Revised Merger Proposal”). Under the Revised Merger Proposal, Oil Search shareholders will receive 0.6275 new Santos shares for each Oil Search share held via a Scheme of Arrangement. Following approval of the Scheme, Oil Search shareholders will own approximately 38.5 per cent of the merged group and Santos shareholders will own approximately 61.5 per cent. The Board of Oil Search has confirmed that, subject to the completion of confirmatory due diligence and the agreement of a binding Merger Implementation Agreement, their intention is to unanimously recommend the Revised Merger Proposal, in the absence of a superior proposal and subject to an independent expert concluding that the scheme of arrangement is in the best interests of Oil Search shareholders. The Revised Merger Proposal implies a transaction price of A$4.29 per Oil Search share, based on the closing price of Santos and Oil Search shares on 19 July 2021 (being the day prior to disclosure of the first proposal). This represents a 16.8 per cent premium to the Oil Search closing price on 19 July and a 16.4 per cent premium to the one-month VWAP on that day. In addition, the proposal represents the opportunity to deliver compelling value accretion to both sets of shareholders. The merger of Santos and Oil Search would create a regional champion of size and scale with the following features: Diversified portfolio of high quality, long-life, low-cost assets across Australia, Timor-Leste, Papua New Guinea and North America with significant growth optionality Pro-forma market capitalisation of A$21 billion which would position the merged entity in the top-20 ASX-listed companies and the 20 largest global oil and gas companies Combined 2021 production of approximately 116 million barrels of oil equivalent Combined 2P+2C resource base of 4,983 million barrels of oil equivalent Investment grade balance sheet with more than US$5.5 billion of liquidity to self-fund development projects, whilst maintaining further optionality and flexibility to optimise the portfolio Target gearing of less than 30 per cent Strong ESG credentials including maintaining Oil Search’s social and community investment in Papua New Guinea and North America, including the Oil Search Foundation Substantial potential combination synergies. Santos has an excellent track record of integration and recently merged Quadrant Energy and ConocoPhillips’ WA and NT business unit into Santos, delivering more than US$160 million in annual synergies The combination would also create greater alignment in Papua New Guinea supporting the development of key projects including Papua LNG, deliver new jobs and help support the local economy. Oil Search shareholders would continue to participate in the merged entity and retain the opportunity to realise a premium for control as part of the merged entity. Santos Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Kevin Gallagher said the potential merger of Santos and Oil Search is consistent with Santos’ disciplined strategy to grow around our core assets. “It represents a compelling combination of two industry leaders to create an unrivalled regional champion of size and scale with a unique diversified portfolio of long-life, low-cost oil and gas assets. “The merged company would have strong cash generation from a diverse range of assets which provides a strong platform for sustainable growth and continued shareholder returns. “The merger also builds on our industry-leading approach to ESG through the combination of Santos’ net-zero 2040 pathway, including its sector-leading CCS projects, and Oil Search’s unique social programs in PNG, underpinned by a strong balance sheet to fund the transition to a lower carbon future. “The Revised Merger Proposal represents an extremely attractive opportunity to deliver compelling value accretion to both Santos and Oil Search shareholders.” Santos and Oil Search have committed to conduct best endeavours due diligence subject to appropriate confidentiality arrangements over a period of approximately four weeks with the aim of entering into a Merger Implementation Agreement, which would contain conditions to completion of the merger such as regulatory approvals. Each party will be free to declare ordinary dividends in accordance with existing dividend policy through to signing of the Merger Implementation Agreement. Should a party declare a dividend outside its existing dividend policy before the signing of the Merger Implementation Agreement, there would be an appropriate adjustment to the merger ratio. Citigroup and JB North & Co are acting as financial advisers and Herbert Smith Freehills and Dentons are acting as legal advisers to Santos.
PNG Business News - August 23, 2021
Santos Enters Next Phase of Oil Search Merger
According to an official, Santos Ltd will stay disciplined and cost-conscious as it enters its next phase of expansion and progresses with the proposed merger with Oil Search Ltd. Despite lower average LNG prices, Santos managing director and chief executive officer Kevin Gallagher said this following a half-year report of a free cash flow of US$572 million (approximately K2 billion). “The proposed merger is a compelling combination of two industry leaders to create an unrivalled regional champion of size and scale with a unique diversified portfolio of long-life, low-cost oil and gas assets,” he said. “The merged company would have strong cash generation from a diverse range of assets which provides a strong platform for sustainable growth and continued shareholder returns.” The combination, according to Gallagher, would strengthen their industry-leading commitment to environmental, social, and corporate governance. This is accomplished by combining Santos' net-zero 2040 strategy, which includes industry-leading carbon capture and storage projects, with Oil Search's distinctive social programs in PNG, all of which are backed by a solid balance sheet to support the transition to a lower-carbon future. “I am pleased with the progress we are making on due diligence and look forward to the signing of a binding merger implementation deed in the coming weeks,” Gallagher said. Meanwhile, the half-year results included a record production of 47.3 mmboe (million barrels of oil equivalent), record sales volumes of 53.8 mmboe and an underlying profit of US$317 million (about K1.1 billion). “These results again demonstrate the resilience of our cash-generative base business and strong operational performance across our diversified asset portfolio,” he said. “Consistent application of our low-cost disciplined operating model continues to deliver cost reductions and efficiencies despite cost challenges across the industry and the Coronavirus (Covid-19)-related cost impacts in the base business.” Reference: The National (18 August 2021). “Firm Enters Next Phase In Merger”.
PNG Business News - December 02, 2021
Adyton Resources hits significant copper at Feni Island, Papua New Guinea
Photo credit: Adyton Resources Adyton Resources Corporation has reported significant copper assays at its 100% owned Feni Island Project (Feni) in Papua New Guinea following the completion of the company’s maiden drilling program of five diamond holes (1,982m) in September. The initial objectives of the program were to expand the gold resource as well as test various induced polarisation (IP) anomalies for the potential of a copper porphyry system. Multi-element assays have now been returned with significant copper intersections being recorded from hole ADK004 in two zones – a shallower disseminated zone of copper mineralisation followed by a zone of massive sulphide copper mineralisation: Disseminated Cu + Au: • 35.9m (70.7 to 106.6m) @ 0.3% Cu & 1.1g/t Au Massive sulphide Cu + Au: • 6.4m (149.7 to 156.1m) @ 5.1% Cu & 1.6g/t Au Incl 3.6m (151.5 to 155.1m) @ 6.9% Cu & 2.1g/t Au Incl 0.7m (154.4 to 155.1m) @ 14.5% Cu & 2.4g/t Au Adyton Resources President, Executive Chairman and CEO, Mr Frank Terranova, said the assay results demonstrated Feni’s significant copper potential. “The results confirm that Feni could contain zones of high-grade copper within the extensive gold mineralisation and this confirmation of massive sulphide copper in the system justifies more work which is currently being planned,” Mr Terranova said. “The recent drilling program has highlighted the potential for a significant discovery to be made in the 1.5km long Kabang structural corridor. The corridor is lightly drilled, and going north is covered by younger volcanic cover, which has hindered previous exploration efforts – a focus of the next program will be exploring under this younger cover.” Located in a Tier 1 region along a mineral belt containing the world class Simberi, Lihir, and Panguna gold and copper projects, Mr Terranova added that the model at Feni was for a “Lihir-style” epithermal gold overprint on a deeper porphyry copper system.
PNG Business News - November 30, 2021
Weir Minerals’ new Trio® TC84XR live-shaft cone crusher improves safety, functionality and reliability
Weir Minerals has upgraded its range of Trio® TC live-shaft cone crushers. The Trio® TC84XR features all the robust design elements that have made live-shaft crushers a fixture of the mining and sand and aggregate industries for generations, while also incorporating the latest technology to ensure it remains integral to flowsheets long into the future. ‘The Trio TC cone crushers’ live-shaft design has been proven to perform in heavy-duty secondary and tertiary crushing applications. We wanted to build on this strong foundation. My team followed a comprehensive design process – we’ve reviewed and tested every inch of this crusher. While the TC84XR may seem familiar on the outside, we’ve upgraded its design and control functionality. The motor is larger and it has a much higher crushing capacity compared to equivalent sized crushers,’ Mark Utecht, Weir Minerals’ Director of Comminution Engineering said. ‘The result: we now have an incredibly robust, powerful and technologically advanced crusher that is easy to operate, has a low wear rate and uses less energy, which ultimately lowers operating costs,’ he said. While many OEMs have made the decision to discontinue their live-shaft cone crushers, Weir Minerals has resisted this trend, believing that – because every mining and sand and aggregate operation is different – there can’t be a one-size-fits all approach. Instead, Weir Minerals partners with its customers and empowers them to choose the machine best suited to their crushing needs. There are some applications and situations where pedestal (fixed-shaft) style crushers may be the more appropriate solution, which is why Weir Minerals continues to manufacture the premium Trio® TP pedestal style machine. Weir Minerals is the only global equipment manufacturer that offers both the TC live shaft and TP fixed shaft style machines. ‘The combination of the Trio TP and TC fixed and live-shaft cone crushers ensures that Weir Minerals continue to offer their customers the right technology, regardless of their site structure, operating conditions or application,’ Mark Utecht, Weir Minerals’ Director of Comminution Engineering said. Trio® live- and fixed-shaft cone crushers are made for modern mines and quarries with advanced hydraulics, wear resistant material and the latest technology. ‘This is really exciting for our customers, as they now have a real choice. The combination of our TC and TP series allows us to have an honest conversation with our customers on the options available to them and make a technological recommendation which truly meets their needs,’ Ekkhart Matthies, Weir Minerals’ Global Application Director said. Replacing existing live-shaft style machines on site with the Trio® TC84XR crusher is now a straightforward process because it has very similar dimensions and is a comparable weight to its live-shaft predecessors. And because it produces the same product, downstream changes aren’t required, which isn’t the case when replacing a live-shaft style machine with a fixed-shaft style machine. In other words, there is no need to re-design existing circuits. Technology upgrades The recent technology upgrades in the Trio® TC84XR crusher have improved its safety, functionality and reliability. ‘At Weir Minerals, we understand and appreciate the important role live-shaft cone crushers play in today’s challenging crushing applications. Combining decades of experience and first-hand customer feedback with innovative designs, the highest quality materials and latest in control technology we believe that our new Trio TC84XR cone crusher is the most reliable and robust live-shaft cone in the market today’ Ekkhart Matthies, Weir Minerals Global Application Director said. Engineered to perform in the most extreme applications, the Trio® TC84XR crusher is robust and easy to maintain and operate. It reliably delivers high crushing force and high horsepower in primary, crushed ore and quarry rock applications. The ability of the TC84XR crusher to handle variable feed and crush pebbles is also partly a result of its large motor; it’s been designed with higher power capability than comparable cone crushers. Ultimately, this translates to a higher potential crushing force and therefore increase in production. Another feature that allows it to handle variable feed, as well as deal with tramp material safely, is the fully-automated tramp-release and setting recovery system. The tramp release hydraulics can also be used to safely clear the crushing chamber should a sudden disruption in plant power cause a shut-down of the cone crusher. The socket assembly has been redesigned to improve sealing, which has optimised functionality and manufacturability by reducing the machining setups of the socket and seal rings. The Weir Minerals comminution team has also redesigned the countershaft assembly to remove welding and machining, while simultaneously improving venting and the dust seal. The Trio® TC84XR crusher, like the range of TP series cone crushers, can be fitted with ESCO® wear parts, designed with superior ESCO® alloys, they can be custom designed based on your specific requirements. With over 100 years of casting expertise and in-house engineering and metallurgy, ESCO transforms what was already a robust machine into one that, in the toughest conditions, is unsurpassed. All Trio® equipment is supported by the Weir Minerals unmatched global service centre network – with over 160 facilities worldwide. Further information can be found at https://info.global.weir/trio
PNG Business News - November 26, 2021
PM Marape welcomes K22 billion Budget
Photo credit: PM James Marape News Page - Treasurer Ling-Stuckey tabling the 2022 Budget Prime Minister Hon. James Marape has welcomed the tabling of the record K22.175 billion 2022 Budget by Treasurer Ian Ling-Stuckey in Parliament. He said it would help Papua New Guinea on the path to economic recovery as well as support successful delivery of the 2022 National General Election. “The total Budget of K22.175 billion is 9.3 per cent higher than the 2021 Supplementary Budget, with a revenue envelope of K16.190 billion which is 18.4 per cent higher than the 2021 Supplementary Budget,” PM Marape said. “The fiscal deficit for 2022 is K5.895 billion, which is 5.9 per cent of the 2022 Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Compare this deficit to K6. 6 billion or 7 per cent of GDP in 2021. “In 2022, the PNG economy is projected to grow strongly by 5.4 per cent, from K93 billion in 2021` to K102 billion. “The 2022 Budget will continue the budget repair and economic recovery path, with strong focus on non-resource sector growth, and at the same time support families and businesses. “There will be increased development and capital funding to high priority programmes and sufficient funding for key social sectors to stimulate economic growth. “The delivery of my Government’s third Budget today, despite the many challenges and obstacles, shows clearly the work that we have been doing. “It points to the fact that our path to economic recovery is correct, and with critical analysis by all multilateral Budget partners like Asian Development Bank, International Monetary Fund and World Bank, our positive trajectories show an increase in GDP for next year and beyond as well as a declining budget deficit trend. “The handing down of the Budget is the single most-important parliamentary occasion of any government. “With hangovers and effects of a slowed economy due to COVID-19, your Government has used the last three years of National Budget to ensure our domestic economy was functional and alive, and our crucial services were maintained. “I want to assure our people and all stakeholders in our economy that we are responsible and prudent to ensure expected outcomes of our Budget are achieved.” PM Marape said since his Government took office in May 2019, it had used the Budget to support schools, hospitals, COVID-19 programmes, road construction, SME funds, retiring old debts and contractual obligations, paying outstanding industrial awards, and many others. “Our 2022 Budget embraces our national outcomes including opening up all parts of our country; intervening in sustainable economy; starting up Porgera, Papua LNG and Wafi-Golpu for our economy; paying for our children’s education in 2022 and beyond; building new hospitals; ramping up support to Bougainville; clearing up projects like new Supreme Court Building and ensuring the 2022 General Election is fully funded,” he said. “All the above we are doing whilst maintaining strict discipline in sticking to our money plan, with our development partners observing our discipline to reforms. “Key in our reforms is to borrow low-cost US dollar denominated borrowings like the Australian $400-million dollar and the Japanese Government US$280million 0.01 per cent five-year grace period lending, which all came directly into our economy by way of Budget support. “I just want to assure our people and our economic stake holders that we are going through tough times, but we will use the Budget policies wisely to share the load of burden and also ensure key infrastructure like the 1900 kilometres of road we built the last two years all over rural PNG through our flagship ‘Connect PNG’ programme are continued.” Article courtesy of PM James Marape News Page