Australian company Cooper Energy has increased the gas sales volumes from the Sole field off Australia thus taking Sole to FID sales target.
Cooper said on Wednesday it has signed an expansion to its existing gas sales agreement with AGL Energy that will increase annual contract quantity from 6.6 petajoules (PJ) to 12 PJ.
The Sole gas field is located in VIC/RL3, in the Gippsland Basin offshore Victoria, approximately 62 kilometers from the Orbost gas plant, onshore Victoria. The Sole gas will be processed in the Orbost gas plant and delivered to the Eastern Gas Pipeline. Cooper Energy is the sole interest holder in the field and the Orbost Gas Plant.
There are no other material changes to the agreement with AGL, which remains subject to an affirmative final investment decision (FID) for the Sole Gas Project from where the gas is to be supplied.
The expanded agreement, together with the previously announced contracts with O-I Australia, Alinta Energy and EnergyAustralia, means that a total of 20 PJ of the 25 PJ annual supply anticipated from Sole is now subject to binding agreements.
Cooper Energy Managing Director David Maxwell said that the latest agreement marked achievement of the project FID gas marketing target set by the company.
“We have now achieved our target gas sales for FID. Securing agreement for 80% of annual production with blue chip customers means the Sole Gas Project has highly attractive credentials for financing and retained upside for shareholders from the short term and spot market.
“The firm revenue input provided by this milestone will support conclusion of the finance and joint venture equity workstreams for our final investment decision, planned for later this quarter,” he said.
Maxwell acknowledged the support given by AGL and other buyers who have committed to purchase gas from Sole.
“AGL was an early cornerstone supporter of our Sole Gas Project. We are pleased to expand our agreement with them, especially as it has meant reaching our gas sales target so rapidly after doubling our stake in the project to 100%,” he said.
The increase to the AGL contract is one of two new agreements struck by Cooper Energy in the period since it announced the acquisition of Santos’ Victorian gas assets on October 24, 2016. In December, Cooper Energy announced agreement with EnergyAustralia to supply 5 PJ per annum from Sole.
Cooper also said on Wednesday that Virginia Suttell has been appointed acting Chief Financial Officer, filling the vacancy left by the previous CFO who quit in November last year.
Virginia Suttell starts her appointment on January 18 and comes to Cooper Energy with over 20 years’ experience, including 16 years working for publicly listed entities in the resources and media sectors.
The company added that an executive recruitment search for a permanent CFO was initiated in December 2016 and is proceeding.