Trading of shares in Australian gas company Arrow Energy (AOE.ASX) was halted today as speculation mounted that the US$3 billion takeover bid by Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A.NYSE, RDSA.LON) and PetroChina (PTR.NYSE, 0857.HK, 601857.SH) would be sweetened, Bloomberg reported. Shares will be halted until March 23 or until an announcement is made, Arrow announced in a statement. Arrow shares have risen 52% on the Sidney exchange since the offer was announced on March 8. The deal would give Shell access to reserves to feed a liquefied natural gas project in Queensland, which would help supply rising Asian demand. Shell and PetroChina may need to raise their bid price based on previous prices paid for coal-seam gas transactions. The two companies originally bid A$4.5 (US$4.14) per share for Arrow, but analysts said that they will likely have to increase their bid to A$5 per share to be successful.
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