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InterOil Says Exxon Talks Continue Over Papua Discoveries

Aug. 16 (Bloomberg) -- InterOil Corp. said discussions with Exxon Mobil Corp. about jointly developing Papua New Guinea natural gas discoveries are continuing, contradicting a media report that the talks collapsed.

The companies entered exclusive negotiations to sell stakes in InterOil’s Elk and Antelope fields to Irving, Texas-based Exxon in May. InterOil, based in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, and run from Cairns, Australia, said today in a statement the discussions are “ongoing.”

InterOil dropped 3.2 percent to $71.70 at the close in New York, after earlier declining as much as 12 percent. The shares have fallen 16 percent this month.

InterOil Chief Executive Officer Michael Hession told analysts and investors during an Aug. 13 conference call that he was abandoning efforts to build and operate a liquefied natural gas export terminal in Papua New Guinea.

At the time, Hession said negotiations with Exxon over the Elk and Antelope fields were progressing. The former Woodside Energy Ltd. executive was hired last month to replace InterOil founder Phil Mulacek, who retired in April.

To contact the reporter on this story: Joe Carroll in Chicago at jcarroll8@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Susan Warren at susanwarren@bloomberg.net

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