Here is RayJay’s latest comment.
InterOil Corp. (IOC/$17.95/Strong Buy): Thoughts on today’s weakness.
- InterOil shares are down 20+% currently. There is no news from the company today, but there are several wire news stories that may explain the weakness. These news stories quote recent comments by Phil Mulacek, InterOil’s CEO, stating that financing for LNG projects has tightened up, and that as a result InterOil’s LNG project may not be completed until 2013/14 (rather than the earlier timeframe of 2012).
- While these news stories may seem unnerving within the context of the current financing concerns about the energy sector in general, the expected delay of the LNG plant to 2013/14 is something that we have previously communicated to investors. In fact, in our most recent InterOil company comment on September 22 (“IOC: Interest in Liquid Niugini Gas Project Remains High”), we gave these exact dates.
- On a related note: Earlier today, the Italian integrated major ENI (E/$43.12) signed an agreement with the PNG government to explore for oil and gas in the country. This news helps provide the imprimatur of a leading oil and gas company, thereby affirming InterOil’s bullish outlook on the hydrocarbon potential of PNG. Even more specifically, Phil Mulacek was present at the discussions in Rome, together with PNG’s prime minister Sir Michael Somare, that led to this agreement. Given ENI’s obvious interest in developing the country’s energy resources, we believe it would be a logical candidate to consider partnering with InterOil on the LNG project and/or other projects.