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Arrow Energy Shares Rise After Report of Shell Bid

BLOOMBERG

By Ben Sharples

Aug. 17 (Bloomberg) — Arrow Energy Ltd., Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s Australian partner in coal-seam gas production, rose in Sydney after the Sunday Telegraph reported that Shell made a A$3 billion ($2.5 billion) offer for the company.

Arrow gained as much as 24 cents, or 5.6 percent, to A$4.54. The stock has gained 65 percent this year, compared with the 19 percent advance in the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index, and was at A$4.43 at 11:08 a.m. local time. Shell’s talks with Arrow ended in “stalemate,” the Telegraph reported, without saying where it got the information.

Andrew Barber, a Brisbane-based spokesman for Arrow, declined to comment, referring to an Aug. 13 statement from the company in which it said it had held talks about its coal-seam gas assets that included discussions about a change of control, without receiving a takeover offer. John Dagostino, a Perth- based spokesman for Shell’s Australian unit, declined to comment.

Shell, Europe’s biggest oil company, is proposing one of five projects in Queensland state planning to tap gas extracted from coal seams for conversion to liquid form and export to Asia. The project will use gas from fields owned jointly with Arrow, Shell said June 12. Shell already owns 30 percent of Arrow’s Australian acreage and a 10 percent stake in Arrow’s international unit.

Discussions about a potential change of control may relate to Shell operating Arrow’s Queensland-based coal-seam assets, given the close relationship between the two companies, UBS AG analysts led by Melbourne-based Gordon Ramsay, said in a note to clients today.

Shell is in talks with Arrow and others to buy additional gas to support the project, it said June 12. Coal-seam gas is mostly methane found on the surface of coal. The gas can be extracted when pressure on the seams is reduced, usually by removing water.

LNG is gas chilled to liquid form for transportation by tanker to destinations not connected by pipeline.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ben Sharples in Melbourne at [email protected]

Last Updated: August 16, 2009 22:06 EDT

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