* Tamboran raised A$60 mln, low end of target
* Beetaloo seen comparable to prolific U.S. Marcellus shale
* Billions of dollars in capital needed for development
* Tamboran aims to sell stakes to major LNG players
MELBOURNE, June 23 (Reuters) - Shale gas explorer Tamboran
Resources is set to debut on the Australian bourse on June 30 in
the country's biggest oil and gas float in a decade, pitching
itself as a growth story despite the world's push toward greener
Tamboran owns assets in the Beetaloo shale sub-basin in the
Northern Territory, considered comparable to the prolific
Marcellus Shale, the biggest U.S. natural gas field. It aims to
start producing in 2025.
"If they can get the flow rates that are needed to be
economic, the Beetaloo could have quite a big impact on the
Australian gas industry," said Daniel Toleman, an analyst at
consultants Wood Mackenzie.
The Australian government, eager to see the remote basin
developed, has committed A$224 million to improve roads and spur
Beetaloo exploration was halted in 2016 when the Northern
Territory banned hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking.
It lifted the ban in 2018.
A lack of infrastructure makes Beetaloo development
challenging. The roads are so bad that during the wet season,
trucks can't enter. Tamboran is bringing sand from 2,000 km
(1,200 miles) away in South Australia for fracking.
"It's going to require billions of dollars to develop the
Beetaloo. There's a question where the appetite for that level
of development capital is going to come," said Credit Suisse
analyst Saul Kavonic.
Tamboran raised more than A$60 million ($45 million), just
above the low end of its target range, but that was cut from an
initial target of A$80 million, Managing Director Joel Riddle
At the offer price of A$0.40 a share, the company will have
a market value of about A$260 million when it lists on June 30.
The funds raised will be used to drill three wells in the
next 12 months, including two with Santos Ltd, in two
assets estimated to have 31 trillion cubic feet of prospective
resources, net to Tamboran.
Tamboran attracted institutional investors in Australia, the
United States, Europe and Asia.
"A lot of the interest we're seeing is from institutional
investors that have been part of the success story of the shale
revolution in the U.S.," Riddle told Reuters.
Tamboran's Chairman Richard Stoneburner was a co-founder of
U.S. shale developer Petrohawk, sold to BHP Group
for $12 billion in 2011.
Marketing for the float coincided with an International
Energy Agency call in May for no new hydrocarbon investments to
meet global carbon targets.
Fielding investors' climate concerns, Riddle pitched
Tamboran as a "net zero" producer. Beetaloo gas has a carbon
dioxide (CO2) content of just 3%, which the company plans to
offset using renewable energy, carbon credits, and carbon
"As long as you have a real strategy for mitigating your CO2
footprint, I actually think it could be a pretty strong story,"
said Regal Funds Management analyst James Hood. He declined to
say whether Regal bought Tamboran shares.
Tamboran aims to sell its gas in Australia and to Asia.
It hopes to raise more money based on drilling results in
late 2022 by selling stakes in its assets, ideally to major
companies with interests in liquefied natural gas (LNG) plants
in Darwin or Queensland.
"We're already getting lots of interest from the likes of
Inpex and Total and a few other parties on the east coast,"
Inpex Corp and TotalEnergies had no
($1 = 1.3263 Australian dollars)
(Reporting by Sonali Paul; Editing by Christian Schmollinger)