Santos forms JV with GDF Suez; nets $200 million

Australian resources major Santos has sold 60 per cent of its Petrel, Tern and Frigate fields in the Bonaparte Basin in Timor Sea to GDF Suez, one of the world's leading LNG companies, for a cash consideration of $200 million (A$242 million).

As per the deal GDF Suez will lead the development of Bonaparte LNG, a proposed 2-million tonnes per annum floating LNG project, which would use the fields' gas as feedstock, and the marketing of the LNG.

Santos will get another $206 million when a final investment decision is made on Bonaparte LNG.

Bonaparte LNG aligns the interests of both companies across the full value chain, from gas field resources to plant development and downstream, Santos said in a statement to the Australian Securities Exchange.

The agreement with Santos enables the French major to enter the Pacific Basin market, a premium market sector accounting for two-thirds of global LNG demand.

The joint venture combines Santos' upstream expertise and GDF Suez's technical leadership in floating LNG, Santos said.