Ipic set to buy in to Papua New Guinea gas deal

27 August 2009

Abu Dhabi fund in advanced negotiations with Australian firm for 3.5 per cent stake in liquefied gas scheme

Australia’s Oil Search is in “advanced stages” of negotiations with Abu Dhabi’s International Petroleum Investment Corporation (Ipic) over the sale of a 3.5 per cent stake of its interests in a new liquefied natural gas (LNG) project in Papua New Guinea.

The oil exploration and production firm hopes to sell an undisclosed percentage of its interests in the petroleum development licence 2 agreement it holds with the government of Papua New Guinea to Ipic. Oil Search is part of a consortium of companies with an interest in the licence, led by the US’ ExxonMobil Corporation.

The consortium is running the LNG project, known as PNG [Papua New Guinea] LNG, and will make a final investment decision on the scheme before the end of 2009, according to Oil Search.

The sale of part of Oil Search’s interest in the licence would give Ipic a 3.5 per cent stake in the deal, the company says. Ipic already holds an interest in the project, as it bought a 17.6 per cent holding in Oil Search in November 2008.

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