By Martin Morris
Abu Dhabi-led gas venture may tap international investors to help refinance multi-billion dollar loans.
Dolphin Energy Ltd, the gas supply venture majority owned by the Abu Dhabi government, may sell bonds to international investors to help refinance $3.45 billion of maturing loans, two bankers with direct knowledge of the deal said on Tuesday.
According to news agency Bloomberg, quoting the bankers, Dolphin is considering raising at least $500 million from the bond market should commitments from existing lenders fall short of the funds needed to repay its four-year loans due in July.
Dolphin’s gas pipeline project linking Qatar's giant North Field with the UAE and Oman was the first cross-border gas project in the Gulf Arab region. It pumps around 2 billion cubic feet per day to the UAE.
The project was financed in 2005 through a $2.45 billion conventional facility and a $1 billion Islamic loan. The original financing was provided by a 25-strong list of banks, including HSBC Holdings, Barclays, Royal Bank of Scotland, Standard Chartered, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank and National Bank of Abu Dhabi.
Mubadala Development Co, - the Abu Dhabi government’s investment arm - owns 51 percent of Dolphin, while France's Total and US Occidental each have a 24.5 percent stake.For all the latest energy and oil news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.