Duma is the right man to lead the petroleum ministry

Letters, Normal

WHILE it was a team effort, involving so many individuals and entities to take the liquefied natural gas (LNG) project to the current stage, there is one person who deserved a special mention, Minister for Petroleum and Energy, William Duma.
He is a man of few words but has the intellect to negotiate and put together renowned multi-billion companies to invest in PNG and at the same time, addressing critical landowner issues.
I observed Mr Duma stay throughout the whole UBSA at Kokopo and LBBSA in Southern Highlands.
He ensured that things were done on time so that investors would be able to make a final investment decision (FID).
I noticed that during his brief tenure as minister responsible, the industry has been transformed.
The key factor that laid the foundation for the LNG project to be realised sooner than expected was the amendment to the Oil and Gas Act which Mr Duma initiated two years ago.
One of the major changes in that amendment was the retention licence reduced from five years to 12 months. 
This led to investors developing the resource areas immediately; otherwise their licence would be forfeited and given to others who were committed.
Oil and gas were discovered long ago but nothing had been done under many Governments and ministers responsible.
Many of these past ministers were taken around the world by investors attending so many conferences, road shows and secret meetings.
A clear case was the abandon-ed gas pipeline project to Australia which cost the Government so much money.
This was caused by loopholes in the Oil and Gas Act which were framed during the colonial era by foreigners.
As a Papua New Guinean, I commend Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare for having the wisdom in appointing Mr Duma as Petroleum and Energy Minister. 
His support of the minister has led to positive results.
The people of Hagen Central have picked a great leader to lead them and the country. -Yosef Koponpi Port Moresby