InterOil in talks with Exxon to develop Papua New Guinea assets

Fri May 24, 2013 6:42am EDT

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May 24 (Reuters) - Liquefied natural gas producer InterOil Corp and its joint venture partner have entered into exclusive negotiations with Exxon Mobil Corp to develop gas fields in Papua New Guinea.

The discussions include the possibility of an Exxon unit, ExxonMobil Papua New Guinea Ltd, taking an interest in petroleum retention license 15, InterOil said.

InterOil and its partner, Pacific LNG, will get funding to drill additional wells in the Elk and Antelope fields, which form part of the license.

Royal Dutch Shell Plc last July said it was in talks to buy into InterOil's Papua New Guinea exploration licenses and an LNG terminal.

InterOil has licenses covering about 3.9 million acres in Papua New Guinea, and the company is also building a $6 billion LNG terminal with an annual capacity of 9 million metric tons.

InterOil shares closed at $93.47, while Exxon closed at $91.79 on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday.

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