Santos expects to defer a final investment decision (FID) on the Barossa liquefied natural gas (LNG) project in northern Australia due to the uncertain economic impact of COVID-19 combined with the lower oil price.
Chief executive officer and managing director Kevin Gallagher said the company’s short-term goals would remain focused on the health and safety of its people and delivering its production target for 2020.
The company has reassured the market that it will continue to deliver low-cost, efficient and sustainable operations from a diverse portfolio of long life natural gas assets, but would cease new hiring and review its capital spending plan.
Santos advised that through the ConocoPhillips acquisition and deferral of major growth projects, its debt covenants have sufficient headroom and were not under threat at current oil prices for a number of years.
Furthermore, Santos has confirmed that its annual general meeting (AGM) has been shifted to a live webcast following the Australian Government’s ban on public gatherings of 100 or more people in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The company has advised that as a result, shareholders will not be permitted to physically attend the AGM.
Santos said it understands and respects the importance of the AGM to shareholders, but the health and safety of shareholders, employees and the community is paramount.
The AGM will now proceed on Friday, April 3, 2020 at 10am Adelaide time.
Santos has advised that the AGM will be made accessible to shareholders via a live webcast which will include the facility for shareholders to ask questions in relation to the business of the meeting.
The company has outlined that in the meantime, shareholders are advised that all resolutions will be decided based on proxy votes which must be received by 10am (Adelaide time), April 1, 2020.
Santos has also commented on COVID-19, stating that the company is following the health advice of the Australian Government and shareholders should monitor the Santos website for any further updates relating to the AGM.
Instructions to join the webcast will be published on the Santos website.