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ExxonMobil outdoes Oil Search in InterOil bid

Papua New Guinea’s biggest oil and gas company, Oil Search, has revealed that its bid for InterOil, totaling $2.2bn, has been beaten by a ‘superior proposal’ from oil giant ExxonMobil.

ExxonMobil, which manufactures the likes of Mobilgrease XHP 222, has put forward a proposal consisting of a fixed price of $45 for every InterOil share, paid to the company in ExxonMobil shares, as well as a contingent resource payment.

InterOil presently has a market capitalization totaling $42.38bn, according to data from Thomas Reuters. Not only that, but the company’s shares have risen by more than 50% already this year.

Back in May, Oil Search revealed that it intended to buy out InterOil – one of its main rivals – and that it would also sell some of InterOil’s exploration assets and various interests captured from a petroleum retention licence to Total – a major oil and gas company based in France.

InterOil hold a number of assets, including a 36.5% interest in the LNG Project, based in Papua New Guinea, and an interest in Elk-Antelope, which is one of the biggest untapped gas fields in Asia. Not only that, but the company currently holds exploration licences totaling 16,000 kilometers squared.

Oil Search has until this Thursday, July 21, to submit a revised bid before the deal between InterOil and ExxonMobil can go ahead. The company has stated that, if its agreement is terminated, the company will be entitled to $60m in the form of a ‘break fee’, 20% of which would go to Total in France.

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