International Court Resolves PNG Gas Ownership Dispute

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InterOil cleared to bring Total in as partner is Elk, Antelope fields

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Feb. 12, 2015) – A dispute over ownership of one of Papua New Guinea's largest natural-gas discoveries has been resolved in an international court.

InterOil last year agreed to introduce the French oil giant Total as a partner in development of the Elk and Antelope gas fields in Gulf province, but junior joint venture partner, Oil Search, disputed the deal, which is worth up to US$3.6 billion.

However, the Wall Street Journal reports that this week, a ruling by the International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce, has paved the way for Total to seal its acquisition of a 40% stake.

The court declined Oil Search's application that it should have been able to exercise so-called pre-emptive rights and buy the stake itself at the same price.

Analysts speculated that if Oil Search had won the dispute, it would have on-sold the stake to its current joint-venture partner at the nearby PNG LNG project, Exxon Mobil.

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