(EnergyAsia, May 31 2012, Thursday) — Shares of UK-listed Cove Energy, which owns a stake in a Mozambique gas field, rose to a record high of 259.75 pence after the African country approved its takeover by Thailand’s state-owned PTTEP.

The Mozambique government’s approval opens up a bidding war between PTTEP and Royal Dutch Shell for Cove which owns an 8.5% stake in the offshore Rovuma Area 1 thought to hold as much as 30 trillion cubic feet of natural gas reserves.

Earlier, the Thai upstream firm had submitted a bid for 240 pence, exceeding Shell’s 220 pence offer.
In a statement, Tevin Vongvanich, PTTEP’s President and CEO, said its wholly owned subsidiary, PTTEP Africa Investment Limited, had received “written consent” for its bid from Mozambique’s Minister of Mineral Resources.