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24-04-2012 03:07:00

Oil Search Assessing Bids For PNG Assets

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SYDNEY -(Dow Jones)- Oil Search Ltd. (OSH.AU) said Tuesday it's assessing bids received from parties wanting to invest in its untested Gulf of Papua assets in Papua New Guinea, as it reported a 22% rise in first-quarter revenue.

"Discussions with potential partners were ongoing during the quarter and a number of bids to farm-in to these licences were received late in the reporting period," Oil Search said in a statement.

The company is reviewing the offers and said a sell-down of its interests in the assets is likely around mid-year.

Revenue for the three months to March 31 rose to US$187.2 million from US$153.3 million a year earlier, as higher oil prices offset a fall in production to 1.46 million barrels of oil equivalent from 1.79 million BOE.

Oil Search said output was impacted by a previously foreshadowed 16-day facilities shutdown related to work on the US$15.7 million PNG LNG project.

ExxonMobil Corp.(XOM) operates the large gas-export joint venture with Oil Search and Santos Ltd. (STO.AU) that's aiming to produce its first liquefied natural gas in 2014.

Oil Search confirmed its recent large P'nyang discovery provides a potential "key underpinning volume" for a possible expansion of the project.

-By Ross Kelly, Dow Jones Newswires; 61-2-8272-4692; Ross.Kelly@dowjones.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 23, 2012 21:07 ET (01:07 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2012 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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