Marape keen to support Santos

Business

PRIME Minister James Marape is looking forwarding to supporting Santos Ltd as a new entry into the country’s petroleum sector.
He had a meeting with Santos managing director and chief executive officer Kevin Gallagher last Thursday in Port Moresby.
Marape was briefed on the merger Santos is pursuing with Oil Search Ltd, the company’s broad strategic plans, long-term commitments, specific processes and expected merger timelines.
“It was important for me to recognise the commercial nature of this merger and the regulatory processes which it is following,” he said.
“The meeting provided me the basic appreciation of the intentions of this merger and the timelines.
“I congratulate Santos on its move to expand its presence in the country.
“I also look forward to supporting the new entity as our successive governments have done for Oil Search in the past.”
Marape said Oil Search Ltd had a long association with PNG, and while the merger would see a rebranding of the business, the new entity would be a much bigger entity.
“It will provide a stronger balance sheet for important developments in all the Oil Search and Santos licences in PNG,” he said. “This is a positive development in terms of PNG investment destination aspirations.”
Marape was also briefed by Santos on their governance arrangement, people development and commercial arrangements, plus new energy concepts, future discussions on key matters such as equity following the merger.
“I was especially delighted to hear Santo’s willingness to engage in discussions about the future outlook of the company, because it resonates well with our government’s position to look at key national empowerment interests.”
He attended the meeting with Southern Highlands Governor William Powi, Kumul Petroleum Holdings Ltd managing director Wapu Sonk and the secretary to the Prime Minister’s Department Ivan Pomaleu.

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