Barzan debt to sign on 31 October

27 September 2011

Qatari gas project seeking $4.7bn

The financing for the $4.7bn Barzan gas project in Qatar is set to close on the 31 October, according to sources close to the deal.

Banks responded to the financing request on 7 September, and the deal is understood to be oversubscribed. The exact make up of the debt is still uncertain as the project sponsors, Qatar Petroleum and the US’ ExxonMobil, are also planning a bond issue to diversify the sources of funding on the project.

Once the bond issue is complete, which is expected to raise up $1bn depending on market appetite, the bank debt will be scaled back.

Of the debt, $2.7bn will come from export credit agencies (ECAs) Japan’s Nippon Export and Investment Insurance (Nexi), Italy’s Sace, and Korea Export Insurance Corporation (KEIC). Japan Bank for International Corporation (JBIC) and the Export-Import Bank of Korea (Kexim) are due to provide direct loans to the project.

Banks had been asked to provide loans of at least $100m. The sovereign debt crisis in Europe is understood to have hit appetite among some European banks to join the deal.

The UK’s Royal Bank of Scotland is acting as financial adviser to the sponsors.

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