ConocoPhillips Announces Sanction of Second Train for Australia Pacific LNG Project

HOUSTON--()--ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP) today announced the sanction of development of a second 4.5 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) production train for its Australia Pacific LNG coal seam gas (CSG) to liquefied natural gas (LNG) project in Queensland, Australia.

“This announcement marks another important milestone for the Australia Pacific LNG project and ConocoPhillips,” said Ryan Lance, chairman and chief executive officer. “Sanctioning of the second train is the final step in the approval process for the project. From this point we are committed to the development and construction of all infrastructure and facilities to ensure the first delivery of LNG in 2015.”

LNG exports from the second train are scheduled to commence in early 2016 under binding sales agreements to Sinopec Corp. and Kansai Electric Power Company (Kansai Electric).

“The Australia Pacific LNG project is on schedule, and is strategically positioned to commercialize its superior CSG reserve position and satisfy Asia’s rapidly growing demand for reliable, cleaner-burning energy,” Lance said. “The approval of Sinopec Corp.’s additional subscription is testament to the strong growth market in China and the importance of Sinopec Corp. as a key partner. We look forward to further developing our relationship over the next 20 years.”

Sanction of the second LNG train includes the further development of related upstream gas gathering and processing infrastructure as well as the construction of the second production train by Bechtel.

As previously announced, the estimated gross capital cost associated with the second train is US$6 billion, with a total two train project cost of US$20 billion. The majority of the scope will be executed under pre-agreed options to extend existing contracts related to the first LNG train, including the Bechtel International, Inc. and Bechtel Australia Proprietary Limited contract for facilities on Curtis Island.

Following the start up of the second train, the project has an anticipated peak production net to ConocoPhillips of 100,000-105,000 barrels of oil equivalent (BOE) per day. This long-term project has returns that are competitive with other LNG projects and will provide long-term production and cash flow to ConocoPhillips’ portfolio, contributing to the company’s plans to deliver 3 to 5 percent annual production growth and 3 to 5 percent annual margin improvement.

In April 2011, Australia Pacific LNG and Sinopec Corp. signed a sales agreement for 4.3 MTPA of LNG for 20 years from mid-2015 and a Subscription Agreement in which Sinopec Corp. subscribed for a 15 percent equity interest in Australia Pacific LNG. The first train of the project was sanctioned in July 2011, followed by the signing of a binding agreement with Kansai Electric in November 2011 for the sale and purchase of approximately 1 MTPA of LNG for 20 years from 2016. An amendment of the existing sales agreement with Sinopec Corp. was signed in January 2012 increasing their LNG purchase to 7.6 MTPA.

With sanction of the second train, the agreement for Sinopec Corp. to subscribe to an increased equity interest in the Australia Pacific LNG joint venture is now unconditional with completion due to occur shortly. Sinopec Corp.’s ownership interest will increase from 15 percent to 25 percent, with ConocoPhillips’ and Origin Energy’s ownership interest each being reduced from 42.5 percent to 37.5 percent. Sinopec Corp.’s additional equity subscription provides Australia Pacific LNG with a net payment of US$1.4 billion for value determined as at Jan. 1, 2011. That amount is then adjusted for Sinopec Corp.’s ownership interest share of capital expenditure since that date. Therefore, Sinopec Corp. will inject an estimated US$2.1 billion into Australia Pacific LNG. These funds will be used to meet project expenditure before any additional funding is required from ConocoPhillips, Origin Energy or Sinopec Corp.

Origin Energy and ConocoPhillips previously agreed, subject to certain milestones, that final investment decision payments on the first two trains of the project will be deferred until ConocoPhillips achieves an agreed cash rate of return on its project investment, including acquisition cost. In accordance with that agreement, this project sanction defers ConocoPhillips' final investment decision payment of US$500 million for the second train of the project.


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About ConocoPhillips

Headquartered in Houston, Texas, ConocoPhillips has operations in 29 countries and more than 16,000 employees as of May 1, 2012. Production averaged 1.62 million BOE per day in 2011 and proved reserves were 8.4 billion BOE as of Dec. 31, 2011. For more information, go to www.conocophillips.com.



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This press release contains forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements relate to future events and anticipated results of operations, business strategies, and other aspects of our operations or operating results. In many cases you can identify forward-looking statements by terminology such as "anticipate," "estimate," "believe," "continue," "could," "intend," "may," "plan," "potential," "predict," "should," "will," "expect," "objective," "projection," "forecast," "goal," "guidance," "outlook," "effort," "target" and other similar words. However, the absence of these words does not mean that the statements are not forward-looking. Where, in any forward-looking statement, the company expresses an expectation or belief as to future results, such expectation or belief is expressed in good faith and believed to have a reasonable basis. However, there can be no assurance that such expectation or belief will result or be achieved. The actual results of operations can and will be affected by a variety of risks and other matters including, but not limited to, changes in commodity prices; changes in expected levels of oil and gas reserves or production; operating hazards, drilling risks, unsuccessful exploratory activities; difficulties in developing new products and manufacturing processes; unexpected cost increases; international monetary conditions; potential liability for remedial actions under existing or future environmental regulations; potential liability resulting from pending or future litigation; limited access to capital or significantly higher cost of capital related to illiquidity or uncertainty in the domestic or international financial markets; and general domestic and international economic and political conditions; as well as changes in tax, environmental and other laws applicable to our business. Other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements include other economic, business, competitive and/or regulatory factors affecting our business generally as set forth in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Unless legally required, ConocoPhillips undertakes no obligation to update publicly any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

Note on estimated gross capital cost – Total two train project cost of US$20 billion excludes any movements in foreign exchange rates.

Contacts

ConocoPhillips
Media
Aftab Ahmed, 281-293-4138
aftab.ahmed@conocophillips.com
or
Investors
Vladimir R. dela Cruz, 212-207-1996
v.r.delacruz@conocophillips.com

Release Summary

ConocoPhillips today announced the sanction of development of a second 4.5 MTPA production train for its Australia Pacific LNG CSG to LNG project in Queensland, Australia.

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Contacts

ConocoPhillips
Media
Aftab Ahmed, 281-293-4138
aftab.ahmed@conocophillips.com
or
Investors
Vladimir R. dela Cruz, 212-207-1996
v.r.delacruz@conocophillips.com