MP welcomes decision to increase equity


AITAPE-Lumi MP Patrick Pruaitch has welcomed resolution of the additional 4.27 per cent equity granted to the PNG LNG project’s five provincial governments and landowners through distribution of dividend payments by Kumul Petroleum.
“Aspects of the settlement may not be in line with the Government plans, but it is heartening that decade-old issues can finally be put to rest so policymakers can concentrate on future growth and prosperity,” Pruaitch said.
He said when the late Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare laid ground rules for negotiation of the PNG LNG project, foremost among these was his determination not to sell down the Government’s project equity.
Pruaitch, who chaired the Ministerial Economic Committee during negotiations for the PNG LNG project, said under the Oil and Gas Act 2.7 per cent of equity was accorded to landowners and associated stakeholders and paid for by the Government.
“The additional 4.27 per cent equity was the outcome of direct negotiations conducted by the late Anderson Agiru, in his capacity as Southern Highlands governor,” he said.
“It was mutually agreed this equity would be purchased from the overall shares held by the Government.”
Pruaitch said there was no expectation that this equity would be a ‘gift’ as that could breach the Oil and Gas Act requirement for a maximum 20 per cent of net benefits for landowners and local stakeholders.