26 Nov 2008

PNG government sells it's stake in Oil Search Ltd

9:56 am on 26 November 2008

The Papua New Guinea government has sold its stake in Oil Search Ltd to secure more than a billion US dollars to fund its equity share in the Exxon Mobil Corp-led liquefied natural gas project.

A wholly owned Abu Dhabi government investment group, International Petroleum Investment Company, will acquire exchangeable bonds over the PNG government's 17.6 per cent shareholding in Oil Search.

Oil Search managing director Peter Botten said on Tuesday the deal secured the funds required by the PNG government to finance its equity component of the LNG project development cost, which was estimated at around 1 billion US dollars.

The LNG project aims to commercialise several gasfields in the Southern Highlands and Western Province of PNG, which will be treated then piped to a storage facility 20 kilometres north-west of the capital Port Moresby.

First production is expected between 2013 and 2015.