Allens, Linklaters and Canadian firm McCarthy Tétrault are acting for Australia’s Oil Search on its $2.2 billion deal to acquire Papua New Guinea-based InterOil Corp, which is being counseled by Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz and Canadian firm Goodmans.

The deal is expected to pave the way for two rival liquefied natural gas projects led by global majors to work together in Papua New Guinea, according to Reuters. The projects are the existing PNG LNG project, run by ExxonMobil Corp, and the proposed Papua LNG project, run by Total SA.

For Total, which will boost its stake in Papua LNG as part of the deal, Oil Search's move will open opportunities for collaboration and possible integration with ExxonMobil's project. 

Oil Search co-owns Papua LNG and PNG LNG and has been pushing them to cooperate in order to avoid wasting money on duplicating infrastructure. The takeover of InterOil will give it a bigger stake in Total's project.

The Linklaters team is headed by corporate partner Peter Cohen-Millstein. Richard Kriedemann and Vaughan Mills, M&A partners at Allens, are acting on the InterOil deal, with Mills leading the team for Oil Search on its agreement with Total.


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