InterOil (IOC) Tanks After Signing LNG Deal with Total S.A.

Michael Teague |

Downstream oil and gas firm InterOil Corporation (IOC) saw shares getting annihilated on Friday, after it was announced that French super-major Total S.A. (TOT) would be buying a substantial share of the company’s liquid natural gas operations in Papua New Guinea.

Total Getting Over Half of IOC's Total Elk and Antelope Fields

From the details that are currently available, Total will be grabbing up over 60 percent of InterOil’s Elk and Antelope gas fields, and will retain the option to invest in more exploration in the future.

The small refiner and marketer has been searching for some time for a larger company to assist in its natgas projects in Papua New Guinea, and has held talks with ExxonMobil (XOM) to this end.

IOC Can't Find Partner for Elk-Antelope Fields

The Elk-Antelope fields are known as one of the largest discoveries in Asia in recent decades, but InterOil has spent a number of years looking for a partner, with little luck. The deal announced Friday is expected to be concluded in early 2014, and could, over the next two years, lead to the development of more fields, and perhaps even the construction of a liquefaction plant in the country.

According to InterOil, Total will pay anywhere between $1.5 billion to $3.6 billion, depending on the size of the reserves. IOC’s estimates put the size between 5.4 trillion and 9 trillion cubic feet of gas. This could lead to contingent payments of between $675 million and $2.78 billion, but Total has been a bit tighter on its own estimates of the reserves, and has said that it expects to pay something more in the range of $590 million.

Stock Price for Total Inches Up

The price movement for Total showed that US investors at least were not terribly impressed at the prospect, with shares up 0.86 percent to $59. InterOil’s shares were another story entirely, down nearly 40 percent at one point, to a low of $51, just $0.05 more than its 52-week low. It’s a drastic move for a stock that, up until today, had added almost 60 percent in 2013. Shares were trading on 5 times average volume, with a massive 27.5 percent short-float.

DISCLOSURE: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors, and do not represent the views of equities.com. Readers should not consider statements made by the author as formal recommendations and should consult their financial advisor before making any investment decisions. To read our full disclosure, please go to: http://www.equities.com/disclaimer

Companies

Symbol Name Price Change % Volume
EXBX Exobox Technologies Corp 0.00 0.00 0.00 0
IOC InterOil Corporation 49.04 0.04 0.07 101,777
TOT Total S.A. 48.25 0.02 0.03 1,139,535
XOM Exxon Mobil Corporation 88.09 0.37 0.42 5,253,229

Comments

Emerging Growth

MGX Minerals Inc.

MGX Minerals is a diversified Canadian mining company listed on the Canadian Securities Exchange. MGX is engaged in the acquisition and development of industrial mineral deposits in western Canada that…

Private Markets

Wealthfront

Wealthfront is an automated investment service that serves as an alternative to traditional financial advisory services. The company manages a diversified, continually rebalanced portfolio of index funds on their clients’…

XY Find It

Founded by serial entrepreneur Arie Trouw, XY Findables follows a single guiding principle: customers should never lose anything important again. With over 50,000 users around the world, more than 100,000…