Speculation has become rampant overnight that a blockbuster deal is in the midst of closure and will be announced as soon as this week. Expect the stock to move significantly higher in the coming days as the reality sets in that IOC's resource is about to move from "stranded" to commercial proven reserves worth well in excess of $2 per mcf, at least 3x the company's current market cap.
"PAPUA New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O’Neill will tour Japan later this week to help strengthen PNG’s relations with this leading LNG importing nation.
He will meet Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during the three-day visit from March 21.
One topic of interest could be InterOil’s Gulf LNG project. Japan’s Mitsui Group has lent almost $US12 million to InterOil for its long-running condensate stripping project based on the project’s Elk-Antelope in PNG’s Gulf Province.
At least two supermajors are involved in bids for a possible operating stake of the Gulf LNG project and it is not clear how this condensate project will fit into the yet-to-be decided development schedule.
“Mitsui are currently working with us on the condensate stripping facilities required for the Gulf LNG project and awaiting the partner outcome,” InterOil chief financial officer Collin Visaggio recently told PNGIndustryNews.net.
The PNG government, which owns 27.5% of Elk-Antelope and has previously flagged boosting its stake to 50%, also has the final say over the Gulf LNG outcome.
“The development decision will be recommended by the strategic partner and the PNG government will decide and approve the best commercialisation approach,” Visaggio previously said.
Sentiment: Strong Buy
O'Neil is also meeting with the Thai PM and we just found out that cnooc is in a deal in PNG. PNG is the hot spot for Asian activity. It looks like O'Neil is sizing up all the bidders for the best all around partner.
With cyprus hitting the news today, bernanke is pinned. he must leave his program alone, no interest rate changes for the near term. market rallies ioc could time in well.
I'd be interested to hear Pick's view but it seems to be that with several bids (at least 2 from majors) for a multi trillion cubic feet gas resource any deal will be in the multi billion dollar net present value range. And anything in that range is a blockbuster deal for a $3.5 billion market cap company. The stock could easily double this week or whenever a deal is announced. Shorts are finished.
Sentiment: Strong Buy