Qatar Petroleum and Exxon Mobil are expecting proposals by the end of August from international, regional and local banks on a $4.7 billion, syndicated loan backing the Barzan gas project, bankers close the deal said.
The loan would be the largest internationally syndicated loan from Qatar in three years, the bankers added.
The 16-year amortising loan totalling $4.7 billion is split between a $2 billion uncovered loan and $2.7 billion of financing from export credit agencies (ECA), which includes a mixture of covered bank and direct lending, the sources said.
The Export-Import Bank of Korea (KEXIM), Nippon Export and Investment Insurance (NEXI) and Italian export credit agency SACE are providing covered financing, while Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) is providing direct lending.
The $2 billion uncovered loan is expected to be priced below 200 basis points (bps) over LIBOR, while the ECA-backed financing of $2.7 billion is expected to be tighter, one of the bankers said.
Lenders are expected to come into the deal on minimum ticket levels of $100 million. Roles and other ticket levels will be discussed in September once banks have sent their proposals to ensure that smaller tickets are not excluded, which is necessary considering the size of the loan, a banker said.
Total project costs are around $10 billion, which will also be funded through $1 billion – $1.5 billion in bonds and $3.8 billion – $4.3 billion in sponsor equity.