29 November 2015
InterOil deal in ‘weeks’

INTEROIL is expecting to conclude the sale of an operating interest in its proposed half stake of the Elk-Antelope field in Papua New Guinea in the “coming weeks”.

Gas flare at Elk-4

According to a recent cabinet statement, the government intends to buy an additional 27.5% stake in the Elk-Antelope field from InterOil, which underpins the Gulf LNG project, to increase its share to 50% of the gas resource.

How the government decides to monetise half of this gas resource is not yet known.

InterOil has long flagged introducing modular LNG and floating LNG technology for the Gulf LNG project, yet the development model used for its proposed half of the Elk-Antelope field is also subject to the government-approved world recognised LNG operator it is required to bring in.

“Now that the government’s position has been clarified, InterOil anticipates being able to conclude an agreement for a sale of an interest in the Elk and Antelope resource in Petroleum Retention Licence 15 and the first 3.8 million tonnes per annum Gulf LNG Train to a partner or partners in the coming weeks,” InterOil said on Friday.

“Major oil companies, national oil companies, and Asian utilities have been actively engaged in the process.”

In regards to the Asian utilities, InterOil said the government intended to take its entitlement to gas from the project “in kind”, where it would be “used in part in domestic power generation and natural gas related industries”.

At least two supermajors have been involved in the bidding processes for an operating stake of Gulf LNG so far, and these parties could separately host talks with the government over its flagged half share of the Elk-Antelope field.

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