AS FIRST reported by on Friday, InterOil has confirmed that the exclusivity arrangements have lapsed in regards to its ongoing negotiations with ExxonMobil in Papua New Guinea.
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An industry source previously revealed that the exclusivity period for the talks over a large stake of InterOil's Elk-Antelope field was over.

However, the source's comments that exclusivity was "dead" ended up being misreported around the globe as a statement that talks between Exxon and InterOil had collapsed.

InterOil managed to help clear the air in its announcement this week.

"Negotiations with ExxonMobil Papua New Guinea, a subsidiary of ExxonMobil, relating to the development of petroleum retention licence 15, were ongoing notwithstanding the lapse of an exclusivity arrangement," InterOil announced.

"InterOil will continue to work with EMPNG with the aim of accelerating the monetisation of its gas resources on terms that will benefit all stakeholders including Papua New Guinea."

The confirmation from InterOil has helped revoke doubts about's source on Friday.

One of these doubters, an analyst from financial services company Raymond James, only managed to concede that was "correct in a narrow sense".

In separate news InterOil has entered into a $US75 million secured loan facility with Westpac and Bank South Pacific.

InterOil said the funds would be used for exploration and drilling activities with half available immediately while the other $37.5 million would become available "upon the execution of an agreement in relation to monetisation of the Elk and Antelope resource".

Exxon previously revealed it was seeking to acquire at least 4.6 trillion cubic feet of gas from the Elk-Antelope field to fuel a third train expansion of the PNG LNG project it operates.

However, Petroleum Minister William Duma, along with Gulf Province parliamentarians, have since campaigned against piping the Elk-Antelope gas outside of the province, providing an obstacle to Exxon's plans.

The end of the exclusivity arrangement allows InterOil to host negotiations with other parties interested in its Elk-Antelope discoveries in PNG.

Previous bids over the asset are believed to have involved supermajors Total SA and Shell, while Indonesian LNG powerhouse PT Pertamina is also rumoured to have made a bid.


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