The National, Friday 02nd December 2011
THE government has only one company looking after all state interests in the hydrocarbon developments in PNG.
Petroleum minister William Duma said this yesterday at the mining and petroleum conference following the dismantling of the National Petroleum Co of PNG (NPCP) last week.
Duma said the government will participate in development of all the gas fields in the Papuan foreland (Western and Gulf Provinces) through Petromin, as the state nominee in all nine licences.
NPCP was disbanded last week by Public Enterprises Minister Sir Mekere Morauta.
“Clarity of public policy and clarity of purpose are sides of the same coin as you will all know.
“And we owe a vote of thanks to my colleague, Sir Mekere Morauta … for resolving one of the disasters created by his predecessor – the apparent existence of two national petroleum companies,” he told a room full of petroleum and gas experts, lawyers, accountants and associated industry members at the third day of the mining and petroleum seminar in Port Moresby.
“Sir Mekere, in his wisdom, has recognised that one company is essential but that two is an indulgence.
“And so by relegating the child of Kroton (NPCP) to its original role as a passive holder of the state’s interest in only one, very specific project, my colleague has achieved what the Grand Chief, Sir Michael Somare and I have always wanted: a single national oil and gas company in the form of Petromin PNG Holdings,” Duma said.
“The creation of Petromin was a first step towards nation building.
“You might argue that it took too long but our nation is young and sound foundations take time to put in place.
“Now we are in the next phase – the growth phase.
“Petromin will be the state’s nominee in all hydrocarbon projects and through it, we will realise the potential of our nation’s vast resources,” he said.
He said Petromin was “somewhat schizophrenic” in that it looked after both petroleum and mineral sectors and that such level of responsibility was onerous.
With the involvement of Royal Dutch Shell with Petromin, they were now examining all of PNG’s hydrocarbon potentials.
He said growth in petroleum sector will not come about by simply standing around and waiting for seismic results and in due course drilling.
He said Petromin had been directed to take the “bull by the horns” and seek to assist in defining the future.
Duma announced that Petromin had been nominated as the state nominee in nine petroleum retention licences (PRL) with proven gas fields, which are:
Pandora (PRL1), P’nyang (PRL3), Stanley (PRL4), Elevala/Ketu (PRL21), Kimu (PRL8), Barikewa (PRL9), Uramu (PRL10), Kuru (PRL13) and Iehi/Bilip/Copra (PRL14).
Duma commended the companies that were continuing to explore and prove up oil and gas resources in the Western and Gulf provinces and other areas in the country.
They included companies such as InterOil, Talisman, Horizon and Eaglewood after the big world-class PNG LNG project.
Oil search Ltd and ExxonMobil were also involved in some of the nine PRLs with the junior players.
“Imagine if you will what LNG’s future might hold if such initiatives succeed.
“From one LNG project, it is conceivable that PNG could have two, three or perhaps more centred upon the Gulf.
“And if we consider Shell’s exploration activities with company now over the New Ireland basin, it would take a lot of courage to say that there are now more projects to be developed on the northern side of our country,” Duma said.