Cove Energy Plc (COV), the U.K. explorer with a share in gas fields off Mozambique, reached a record in London after the African country approved a bid by Thailand’s PTT Exploration and Production Pcl.
Cove rose as much as 2.5 pence, or 1 percent, to 259.75 pence, above PTT’s offer of 240 pence and the highest price since the company started trading in 2005. The stock closed down 0.5 pence at 256.75 pence.
Mozambique’s decision removes the risk the government could block Bangkok-based PTT’s bid in favor of an earlier, lower bid from Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSA), analysts at Credit Agricole Chevreux said in a note. Shell, which had agreed to buy Cove for 220 pence a share, said last week it’s considering its options.
Cove’s largest asset is a 8.5 percent holding in Mozambique’s Rovuma Area 1, where a group led by Anadarko Petroleum Corp. (APC:US) has found as much as as 30 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, more than three times the U.K. existing reserves. After Shell made its 220 pence bid, Anadarko announced a second discovery in the area holding between 7 trillion and 20 trillion cubic feet.
Mozambique’s decision on PTT presents “an opportunity, albeit remote, for Shell to come back with a matching or improved options,” FirstEnergy Capital Corp. said in a note to clients this morning.
The discoveries open the way for Mozambique to become an exporter of liquefied natural gas, shipping fuel to energy- hungry Asian economies, including India and China. For state- controlled PTT, the acquistion of Cove offers Thailand secure source of gas supply.
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