The National, Wednesday June 18th, 2013
By GYNNIE KERO
THE PNG Government has been informed about InterOil’s proposed tie-up with ExxonMobil both at the political and bureaucratic level, the Canadian oil company said.
InterOil said this following Petroleum and Energy Minister William Duma’s remark on the viability of ExxonMobil teaming up with it (InterOil) to develop the natural gas fields in Gulf.
Duma has reportedly mentioned that the government did not receive any formal advice from InterOil about an arrangement with Exxon.
He said if and when the government received such advice, the arrangement and related issues on compensation would need to be carefully examined.
Furthermore, Duma said as a country, there was some concern that it was not a wise thing to allow one major energy company to dominate the industry in Papua New Guinea.
He added that there were already concerns expressed by some influential sections of the community.
InterOil refuted the statement by saying: “The government was informed through a discussion between IOC (InterOil Corporation) and ExxonMobil representatives and Prime Minister Peter O’Neill on Friday, May 24.
“Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has welcomed the advice from the two companies and later publicly endorsed the proposal in Parliament.
“As reported recently in The National (Monday, May 27, 2013) the Prime Minister himself had announced to Parliament the InterOil’s decision to start talks with ExxonMobil.
“The National Government was also informed at an official level by way of a meeting between InterOil Corporation/Pacific LNG representatives with the state negotiating team headed by the Secretary of the Department of Petroleum and Energy Rendle Rimua, on Friday, June 7.
“The State negotiating team also welcomed the advice.”