Risky business for Oil Search in PNG?

Oil politics, PNG sovereign risk and a rebalancing of ‘who’s who’ among Australia’s top producers are all on the agenda after a surprise deal at Oil Search Ltd.

It sounds rather grand to be named Papua New Guinea’s national oil champion, but it’s questionable whether that title will prove to be a boon for Oil Search investors. It also raises a wider question of Australia’s commercial relationship with PNG and its very mixed history with international resources companies.

Yesterday’s deal with Oil Search sees the PNG Government elbow itself onto the company’s share register at a discounted price of $8.20 a share.

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