Review of Total deal confirmed

NEW Petroleum Minister Kerenga Kua said the Oil and Gas Act was considered adequate when the legislation was enacted in 1998, but was now in need of change.
Review of Total deal confirmed Review of Total deal confirmed Review of Total deal confirmed Review of Total deal confirmed Review of Total deal confirmed

Kerenga Kua

Staff Reporter

He said there's a widespread public view that PNG's burgeoning petroleum sector should provide more returns to the state, including national, provincial governments and landowners, Radio New Zealand International reports
 
Kua said this was something that should be addressed in the Oil and Gas Act, along with the Income Tax Act.
 
"Both of them have to be reviewed to see at what levels it can be adjusted and increased, without making an investment unprofitable for other shareholders. So that's a delicate balance that we have to explore. But it is a reform that must take place."
 
Kua has also confirmed that an internal review will be conducted into the recently signed Papua LNG gas deal will be reviewed.
 
The move by the former Peter O'Neill-led government to sign with French company Total for the $13 billion Papua LNG project in Gulf province in April precipitated a series of resignations from cabinet which led to the recent change in government.
 
New Prime Minister James Marape and other MPs who resigned cited concerns that local interests were not being served and claimed mandatory requirements were not fulfilled before the agreement was signed.
 
Kua said the review would be done to satisfy the government and people that the deal complies with all applicable laws and protocols.
 
He said that as a new government, they had to do their own due diligence to satisfy that two important benchmarks have been satisfied.
 
"Number one, is that this agreement has been negotiated and signed in accordance with our constitution and our Oil and Gas Act," he said.
 
"Secondly, we have to be assured, as a government whose duty it is to look after the interests of the eight, nine million people in PNG, that we are getting a proper return on this investment."
 
However, the outgoing Petroleum Minister, Fabian Pok, has defended the Papua LNG Project agreement, saying there it was better for the country than the earlier PNG LNG deal.
 
He said his team had put in a substantial effort to ensure the deal was beneficial to the state, stake holders and landowners.
 

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