ExxonMobil to buy PNG-focussed InterOil for $2.5bn

5:46 pm on 23 July 2016
LNG Project facility, Central Province, Papua New Guinea.

LNG Project facility, Central Province, Papua New Guinea. Photo: RNZI / Johnny Blades

The global energy giant Exxon Mobil has agreed to buy InterOil, a driller focused on projects in Papua New Guinea, for at least US$2.5 billion.

Exxon beat out a competing bid by Oil Search Limited, a PNG oil exploration company part-owned by the country's government, which had offered to pay about $2.2 billion.

InterOil's holdings in PNG include the large-scale liquefied natural gas project, and the deal includes interests in six licences in PNG, including the large, undeveloped Elk-Antelope gas field.

The proposal from ExxonMobil comprises a fixed price of $US45 per InterOil share, paid in ExxonMobil shares, and a contingent resource payment.

In May, Oil Search announced it would buy out InterOil and also sell part of its exploration assets and interests acquired from a petroleum retention licence to the French energy giant Total.

In a statement to the Australian Stock Exchange, Oil Search said it would not submit a revised takeover offer for InterOil.