PERTH, Australia, Dec. 8 (UPI) -- Australian energy company Woodside Petroleum announced it withdrew its bid to merge business operations with rival Oil Search Ltd.
"Woodside is not pursuing any alternative transactions to combine the businesses," the company said in a statement.
Woodside is Australia's largest oil and gas company, serving as the operator of the giant Pluto liquefied natural gas project in the country. Oil Search, meanwhile, holds a key stake in Papua New Guinea's LNG sector and touts itself as a company with a potential for capital and resource growth.
The Asian Development Bank estimates Pacific economies will grow by an average rate of 9.9 percent this year, with Papua New Guinea helping to boost short-term overall growth with LNG.
The deal for Oil Search was valued at around $8.1 billion and came at a time when most energy companies are spending less to conserve capital in the weak oil economy. Oil Search expressed caution about the outcome of the deal, saying it undervalued the company.
"Oil Search remains focused on delivering value for its shareholders, by continuing to produce from its low cost assets and progressing with the development of its world class growth projects," the company said in a statement.
Woodside in April closed on a $2.1 billion deal to acquire Canadian interests from rival Apache Corp.