The National, Friday, May 20, 2011
CABINET has approved the process to pay all outstanding memorandum of agreements for petroleum, acting Prime Minister Sam Abal said yesterday.
He said cabinet had approved a review of all MoAs.
Abal said he had since learnt many people associated with oil and gas landowners “are in a confused and plunder strategy”, making it difficult for the government to effectively deliver on its commitments.
“As chairman of the National Planning Committee, I directed for a high level consultation of key government agencies involved in the PNG LNG project,” he said.
“The government has learnt that up to 99% of project proposals submitted failed to qualify as per the MoA, many of which are outside the oil areas.”
He said the committee had come up with stringent guidelines that would help in processing and implementing realistic projects on the ground that would be beneficial to the people in the project areas.
He said the guidelines would be widely publicised, “so the public is fully aware of the processes involved”.
“Projects to be funded are those under the list of the MoAs and will be subjected to a review exercise.
“The review committee comprises the managing director of Mineral Resource Development Corporation, selected landowner leaders, head of the project management unit (PMU) to be established with MRDC and the secretary for planning as chair of the expenditure implementation committee.
“Oil Search Ltd, developer of the oil project, has been designated to assist PMU in implementing the projects,” Abal said.
He said the bottom line was that the government “delivers on its commitment in an open and transparent manner and projects are actually delivered on the ground for the benefit of landowners”.