BARNABAS ORERE PONDROS in Hides
THE Papua New Guinea Government is ready to become a full equity partner in the massive PNG LNG project when developer ExxonMobil and its partners make its final investment decision (FID) on Dec 8.
State Enterprises Minister Arthur Somare announced in Hides yesterday that Cabinet had endorsed more than K1 billion on Wednesday.
Cabinet endorsed the contribution hours before a high-profile delegation led by Petroleum and Energy Minister William Duma and Mr Somare flew into Hides PDL1 to launch the licence-based benefits sharing agreement (LBBSA) forums.
The State is to take up 19.4% interest in the PNG LNG project.
Mr Somare said thus far, project joint venture partners, including ExxonMobil and Oil Search Limited, had been meeting the State’s share of the costs associated with the project, including front end engineering design (Feed) and sunk costs.
“The State is now well prepared to also pay for these costs and has the necessary resources in place to pay by the FID,” Mr Somare assured.
He said this was a significant step towards realising PNG’s first liquefied natural gas project.
Mr Somare added that the State had and would continue to do all it could to ensure the project gets off the ground.
Mr Somare and Mr Pruaitch told more than a thousand landowners during the launch of the Hides PDL1 LBBSA that unity and collaboration must prevail.
Mr Duma said the ball was now in the hands of the landowners to “conclude the forums” and get the project moving forward.
He officially opened the Hides PDL1 forum.
Hides would contribute significant volumes of gas to the PNG LNG project.
The other forums will be launched today and over the weekend and are expected to end within a week.
The main concern for landowners to reach agreement on how their share of benefits will be distributed amongst themselves.