LESS than two weeks after announcing it would shut its New Oakleigh coal mine near Ipswich, New Hope Coal has launched a bit to buy oil explorer Bridgeport Energy.
New Hope has the open-cut New Acland mine west of Brisbane.
The coal miner will spend $45 million to buy every Bridgeport share available.
On July 17, the company announced it would close its New Oakleigh project because it had exhausted the mine.
The target of New Hope's intentions holds a number of inland oil exploration sites in the Eromanga Basin about 600km west of Rockhampton.
One of Bridgeport's fields has been described on the company's website as the "seventh largest onshore oil reserve" in Australia, with a total reserve of 4.5 million barrels.
Bridgeport's independent directors have unanimously accepted recommended its shareholders accept the off-market takeover.
Bridgeport chief executive Chris Way said it was a deal was a great opportunity for investors to earn a premium on their shares in a time of uncertainty but hinted it needed the agreement.
In a New Hope statement released to the ASX, he said, "Without this opportunity, Bridgeport's shareholders would likely be asked to contribute additional capital to fund further exploation and production activities".
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