Oil Search marks 90yrs of promoting PNG to the world


THIS year marks 90 years of Oil Search Ltd’s operation in the country, since 1929.
Managing director Peter Botten said their success as a company, both in the past and into the future, was not just to invest in the economic development but also in the social development of the country.
“In the life of the LNG project contract, PNG’s population will almost double,” he said.
“So if you are not investing in youth, in the young people, giving them opportunities to develop their skills and reach their full potential, then those kids will sooner or later cause problems in their communities.
“This causes operating challenges and not good for us as an organisation as well as the country.
“So we have to work with the government and communities to give them opportunities.
“There aren’t always opportunities to be employed by Oil Search but there is opportunities to be skilled and trained which could lead them to getting jobs.”
Botten said the company started in 1929 and was supported by shareholders and joint venture partners such as Stanvac, BP and others to explore through to the late 1930s.
It had a brief stop during the second-world war and continued through to the 1940s and 1950s.
“The discovery of oil and gas didn’t take place until the 1950s in the Gulf area, and in the Highlands was in the 1970s and 1980s where first discoveries were really made.”
Botten said when oil productions started in 1992, Oil Search was a very small company and had about 7 per cent interest in the oil fields.
He said they had progressively invested in the country since 1992.
“Revenue was coming out of Kutubu and Moran.
“We bought out BP initially out of Gobe and out of the country completely in 1997.
“It has been a long journey with thousands of people involved in Oil Search’s history since 1929 and really it’s been a remarkable story of resilience.
“It’s a remarkable story of promoting Papua New Guinea to the world and the investment world and so we have a huge number of international investors that sit on our register.
“Some of the best and biggest investment funds in the world
participate through Oil Search, therefore see Papua New Guinea with confidence that it is a good place to invest.”
Botten said hundreds of people have been employed through Oil Search and its joint venture partners since it started.
“Certainly it was a big operation then and now.”

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