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InterOil, Pacific LNG in talks with Exxon Mobil

HOUSTON (AP) -- InterOil and Pacific LNG Group are in exclusive talks with Exxon Mobil about the development of natural gas fields in Papua New Guinea.

Shares of InterOil jumped almost 11 percent before the opening bell and appear to be headed for an all-time high when the market opens Friday. Pacific LNG is not publicly traded.

InterOil has petroleum licenses, an oil refinery and retail and commercial distribution facilities on the island nation just north of Australia. It's also a shareholder in a joint venture created to build a liquefied natural gas plant there.

InterOil Corp. and Pacific LNG potentially may sell a stake in Petroleum Retention License 15 to Exxon Mobil Corp. subsidiary, Exxon Mobil Papua New Guinea Ltd. InterOil and Pacific LNG may also be paid to drill more delineation wells in the Elk and Antelope fields, the companies said Friday.

If a deal is struck, it will need approval from the Papua New Guinea government.