Australia-based Woodside Petroleum has proposed an all stock takeover bid for Oil Search Ltd. slated to be worth about $8 billion.
According to Reuters, the takeover would give Woodside stakes in two of the lowest cost liquified natural gas (LNG) projects in the world, including a 29 percent stake in the PNG Liquefied Natural Gas Project in Papua New Guinea.
The all stock transaction calls for Woodside to offer one share for every four shares of Oil Search, equivalent to a 14 percent premium over Oil Search’s Monday closing price.
The offer is subject to Woodside being granted a period of exclusivity to go over Oil Search’s books and win support from key stakeholders, Reuters said.
A spokesman for Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O’Neill told the news wire that the government will make a decision after being fully briefed on the offer.
Oil Search holds a 29 percent stake in the PNG Liquefied Natural Gas Project.
ExxonMobil PNG operates the project with a 33.2 percent stake, the National Petroleum Company of Papua New Guinea holds a 16.8 percent stake, Australia-based Santos holds a 13.5 percent stake, Japan-based Nippon Oil holds a 4.7 percent stake and state owned Mineral Resources Development Company Limited holds a 2.8 percent stake.
The project is expected to produce more than 9 trillion cubic feet of gas and 200 million barrels of associated liquids and has a projected lifespan of over 30 years, according to Oil Search.
The project came onstream in the first half of 2014 and reached full nameplate operating capacity in July 2014, three months after first production.
The proposed takeover would raise Woodside’s production by about 30 percent, Reuters added.
Oil Search produced 19.27 million barrels of oil equivalent in 2014.
The company has proved plus probable plus best estimate of contingent oil resources of 173.6 million barrels and 5.811.6 trillion cubic feet of gas.
According to the company’s website, Oil Search also currently operates of PNG’s currently producing oil fields.
Neither company has commented on the proposal yet.