Santos Amends PNG Stake Sale Terms with Papua New Guinea's Kumul Petroleum

(Reuters) — Oil and gas giant Santos said on Thursday it had amended the terms of sale of its 2.6% stake in PNG LNG project to Kumul Petroleum, allowing the Papua New Guinea state-owned firm additional time to pay the purchase price.

The Australian energy company had in September last year agreed over a cash deal valued at $576 million, of which Kumul has till date paid $352 million.

Kumul has signed binding funding agreements to complete the transaction as announced by the Papua New Guinea firm in December.

Its managing director, Wapu Sonk, had on Dec. 29 said the firm has been able to raise sufficient funds to close the purchase of 2.6% stake in the project, while flagging tough international finance market coupled with rising interest rates.

Sonk in December warned of an "environment where the appetite for funding of any hydrocarbon project is becoming increasingly scarce".

Santos, which is in talks with bigger rival Woodside over a potential $52 billion merger did not clarify on why an extension to pay entire deal value has been put in place or by when the entire stake sale is expected to be completed.

Kumul did not immediately reply to a Reuters request for comment.

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