Government will review Papua LNG project agreement, says Kua

Business

PETROLEUM Minister Kerenga Kua says the Government consider reviewing the agreements of the Papua LNG project signed in April.
Kua clarified that it was not about revoking any agreements or understanding between the State and developer.
“We will review the Papua LNG has agreement,” he said.
“We are not saying that we are walking away from it, we’re not saying that we are revoking it, we are saying that we need to satisfy our selves by doing a stock take to ensure that it is legally and procedurally compliant, and secondly, that the State’s and landowners’ share was the maximum that could have been given to us.
“This Government has to satisfy itself on things like the Papua Gas Agreement.”
The US$13 billion (K43bil) Papua LNG Project shares split: French energy company Total – 31.1 per cent, ExxonMobil – 28.3 per cent, Kumul Petroleum Holdings Ltd (State) – 20.5 per cent, Oil Search – 17.7 per cent, landowners – 2.0 per cent, and minor parties – 0.4 per cent.
“We have to satisfy ourselves that that agreement satisfies all our applicable laws, starting with our Constitution, down to our Mining Act, and it also satisfies all the protocols of government business, that all stakeholders who were to have been involved in the discussion and negotiation of that agreement from the Central Bank to Treasury, to Finance, Environment and Conservation, to MRDC (Mineral Resource Development Company), to Kumul Petroleum Holdings Ltd,” Kua said.
“We need to be satisfied that protocols have been followed.
“Papua New Guinea’s shares are defined under the Oil and Gas Act.
“But it is about the benefits under the Income Tax Act that has always been an issue, that is where Papua New Guinea has always lost by being negotiated out of its due in taxes and that is the centre of focus of all negotiations in resource areas, we need to look at the act seriously.
“We need to ask these questions because nobody else can. We owe it to our people.”
Deputy Prime Minister Davis Steven said the Government was serious in reforming in the resource sector.
“Prime Minister James Marape has made it very clear in terms of reforming this sector,” he said.
“One point that is outstanding is the fact that we have outdated laws that need changing.
“This government is mindful of our resource sector, its contribution to the economy.
“Some of us where in the previous government and know about the difficulties and challenges and the circumstances in which the new LNG agreement, the Papua LNG agreement, was initiated and conceived.”

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