Abu Dhabi government investment arm International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC) has completed its acquisition of a five year US$1.1 billion exchangeable bond issued by the Papua New Guinea government.
Upon exchange of the bond, which was issued through the PNG government’s investment arm Independent Public Business Corporation (IPBC), IPIC will acquire IPBC’s 17.6% equity stake in PomSox- and ASX-listed Oil Search – at the same time becoming its single largest shareholder.
The investment provides IPIC with exposure to the Papua New Guinea LNG project, in which Oil Search has a 34% stake and which is operated by ExxonMobil subsidiary Esso Highlands. Other joint venture partners include Santos, Nippon Oil, Mineral Resources Development Company (MRDC) and Eda Oil.
Shanghai managing partner Andrew Ruff led the Shearman & Sterling team advising IPIC on the deal. The US firm also recently advised IPIC on its US$776 million purchase of one-fifth of Japan’s fourth-largest oil company Cosmo Oil.
On the Oil Search acquisition, IPIC also turned to Clayton Utz on Australian law matters, Peter Allan Lowing Lawyers advised on PNG law, Rajah & Tann on Singapore law, and Lydian Lawyers acted as Belgian counsel.
IPIC is expanding into the global oil and natural gas sectors on behalf of the Abu Dhabi government, which controls more than 90% of oil reserves in the United Arab Emirates.The PNG LNG Project proposes to develop gas fields in the Southern Highlands and Western Highlands of PNG and transport the gas via pipeline to an LNG facility near Port Moresby for shipment to markets overseas