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QP completes financing of gas project

DOHA: Qatar Petroleum (QP) has completed a $10.4 billion financing of its Barzan gas project even though a difficult economic climate has put a freeze on global syndicated lending.

The project will be funded with up to 30 per cent equity and the remainder through a syndicated loan expected to total $7.2bn, the company said yesterday.

The financing includes a commercial bank facility of $3.34bn, a $850-million Islamic facility and $2.55bn of export credit agency financing.

ExxonMobil, QP's partner in the project, also provided a portion of the senior debt.

"Despite the challenging market conditions, we were able to bring a large number of commercial banks into the deal with big ticket sizes," QP finance director Abdulrahman Al Shaibi said.

"We had a major participation from all the Islamic banks in Qatar, which allowed us to create the largest Islamic tranche in our financing history."

Qatar, the world's richest nation per capita, recently defied global gloom by raising $5bn in a sovereign bond issuance, capitalising on investors' appetite for safe havens as the European debt crisis destabilises global markets.

The Barzan project will help meet growing energy demand in the world's top liquefied natural gas exporter. It is Qatar's most expensive since Royal Dutch Shell launched a $19bn Pearl gas-to-liquids plant in 2006.



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