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UPDATE 1-French oil and gas group Maurel & Prom eyes UK's Amerisur

* Possible offer of 17 pence per share for Amerisur

* Offer would comprise 12.5 pence cash and new shares

* Amerisur's main assets are in Colombia and Paraguay (Adds details, company comment and background)

July 22 (Reuters) - Oil and gas company Maurel & Prom has made a possible offer worth about 210 million pounds ($262.5 million) for UK peer Amerisur Resources, which could help the French exploration group boost its range of assets in Latin America.

Maurel & Prom said on Monday its possible offer was priced at 17 pence per share for Amerisur, whose shares closed at 16.52 pence on Friday. The offer would comprise 12.5 pence as cash and new shares in Maurel & Prom worth 4.5 pence each.

Maurel & Prom's interest in Amerisur highlights a wave of takeover activity in the energy sector as companies look to increase their size to boost cash flow and quell investor criticism over a lack of returns.

Earlier this year, Occidental Petroleum made a proposed $38 billion acquisition of Anadarko Petroleum, while Callon Petroleum announced a takeover of Carrizo Oil & Gas Inc in July.

The Paris-based company said Amerisur's main assets were in Colombia and Paraguay, and they would fit in well with its own assets in Colombia.

"M&P sees considerable benefit to shareholders from a combination and believes that the enlarged group would offer significant value upside for both Amerisur's and M&P's shareholders," the French company said in a statement.

"The combination would result in a balanced portfolio of producing assets, with a wide range of high-impact exploration and development opportunities across Latin America and Africa," added Maurel & Prom.

Maurel & Prom added that if it did succeed in acquiring Amerisur, it would seek a stock market listing later on the London Stock Exchange.

($1 = 0.7999 pounds) (Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)