InterOil ups investment in Gulf gas plan

Business, Normal

The National

INTEROIL Corp has increased investment in its Elk Antelope gas exploration fields in the Gulf province.
The company announced two separate transactions aimed at giving InterOil a greater control over and share of the liquefied natural gas (LNG) project.
In the first transaction, the company agreed to acquire indirect participation interests currently held by a number of external investors.
This would involve InterOil acquiring a total of 4.3364% participation in Elk Antelope in exchange for the issuing of  common shares to the value of approximately US$56 million (K154 million).
The deal would also cover any future discoveries made as a result of four exploration wells still to be drilled.
In the other transaction, InterOil had sold a 2.5% direct working interest in gas and condensate discovered at Elk Antelope to Pacific LNG Operations Ltd, a foundation joint venturer in InterOil’s LNG project.
InterOil would receive US$25 million (K69 million) for the deal and also acquired 2.5% of Pacific LNG’s economic interest in the joint venture (LNG) project.
When finalised, the two transactions would see InterOil with a 73.6614% direct interest in its exploration licences for the Elk Antelope fields.
This figure excludes the interests of the PNG Government.
Also, InterOil has announced that its Antelope reservoir may be higher than first thought.
Latest drilling has intersected the top of the reservoir at 6,007 metres, which was 105 metres higher than pre-drill estimates.
InterOil chief executive officer Phil Mulacek said the company was pleased to have made the discovery.
“We believe it could result in a meaningful increase in our internal gas resource estimates,” he said.