Kua calls Exxon talks a 'farce'

PETROLEUM Minister Kerenga Kua has described the negotiations between the state negotiating team and ExxonMobil as a “farce”.
Kua calls Exxon talks a 'farce' Kua calls Exxon talks a 'farce' Kua calls Exxon talks a 'farce' Kua calls Exxon talks a 'farce' Kua calls Exxon talks a 'farce'

Kerenga Kua

Staff Reporter

When speaking to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Kua said that if the independent Petroleum Advisory Board was to grant Exxon's application, the government could be compelled to reach a deal.
But as things stand, or unless Exxon comes back with proposal that meets PNG's expectations, Kua says there will be no agreement.
"The imparity of the negotiations has been a farce, there was no chance of an agreement being reached anyway. Parties need to ensure that they are coming in to do a deal in good faith.
"Exxon came in to exploit our weak economic circumstances. How could we ever have struck a deal with that kind of mindset. It was not possible. And it took three months to prove that out so we have downed tools and the only way it can go forward is if somebody comes up and is prepared to talk to the government on the terms the government prefers.
"The negotiations that were carried out were a parallel exercise to see if an agreement could be signed off, but that failed and I don't know, somewhere along the way the Petroleum Advisory Board will resume [its deliberations] to determine the fate of that application.
"There are two ways it can go. One is the application will be granted, in which case we have to find a way to strike an agreement so that the project can go ahead and the other is that the Petroleum Advisory Board might reject the application.
"If they do, then all of Exxon's residual interests are extinguished and the resource will be without a licencee, and back to the drawing board with the State and to open up to any other interested party," Kua said.