• CEO Botten says company will engage if offer `compelling'
  • Woodside reiterates this week that bid is ``fully priced''

Oil Search Ltd. Managing Director Peter Botten says it’s “business as usual” for the oil and gas producer amid the standoff with spurned suitor Woodside Petroleum Ltd.

“If there’s a compelling offer on the table then we’ll engage properly,” Botten told reporters in Sydney after a speech Wednesday. “We’re very strongly supported by our shareholders.”

Oil Search last month rejected an $8 billion takeover bid from the Australian oil and gas producer, saying the proposal undervalued the company’s liquefied natural gas expansion plans in Papua New Guinea. Woodside is still “waiting to engage” with Oil Search, CEO Peter Coleman said this week, reiterating that the offer is “fully priced.”

Woodside is among companies seeking to acquire assets amid a slump in energy prices. Oil Search holds a stake in the $19 billion Exxon Mobil Corp. operated LNG venture in Papua New Guinea and is part of a Total SA-run group planning a second gas-export plant for Pacific island nation.

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