ExxonMobil Corp has made a bid worth at least $2.2 billion for Papua New Guinea-focused InterOil Corp, winning the support of InterOil and topping an offer from Oil Search Ltd, Oil Search said on Monday.
ExxonMobil’s move pits it against French giant Total SA , which is backing Oil Search’s offer with an agreement to buy part of InterOil’s stake in the potentially lucrative Elk-Antelope gas field.
Oil Search has at least until July 21 to submit a revised offer and said it was talking to Total about making a higher bid.
“The parties are in active dialogue and have the flexibility to submit a revised offer either during the three day notice period or after InterOil enters into an Arrangement Agreement with ExxonMobil,” Oil Search said.
ExxonMobil has offered $45 worth of its own shares for each InterOil share plus a payment of $0.90 per million cubic feet equivalent (mcfe) for resources of more than 6.2 trillion cubic feet at the Elk-Antelope gas field.
That compares with Oil Search’s offer of 8.05 of its own shares for every InterOil share, valuing InterOil’s shares at $42.66 on Friday’sclose, plus $0.77 per mcfe for resources of more than 6.2 tcfe at Elk-Antelope.