Policy on natural gas is good news


WITH more three critical projects on the calendar for PNG, it is good news that a policy whitepaper on Natural Gas Development is completed and awaiting the green light to be presented to Parliament.
The policy paper is with the National Executive Council for approval before it is presented to Parliament for its formal endorsement.
Petroleum Minister Dr Fabian Pok told the 2nd PNG Petroleum and Energy Summit that now is the time to make sure that PNG’s policy and legislative frameworks are designed so that PNG and its citizens participate more fully and directly in our country’s natural gas industry.
This is a major policy paper involves the inspirations and developing lessons learnt from the recently established and producing PNG LNG project.
The Government is giving priority to three critical projects in Pasca A, P’nyang and the Elk/Antelope natural gas developments.
Pok admitted that the critical oversights from the PNG LNG Project means that the state will carefully screen these projects to comply with the outcomes of the Alotau Accord 2 which has the spirit of maximum benefit to the State as per the Natural Gas White Paper.
The underlying benefit of the policy is that it will support PNG’s ongoing economic development.
The policies once passed will make a certain percentage of gas produced in the country available for domestic use to address the increasing cost of power production.
Parliament was told last month, that the Oil and Gas Act did not have a clause for domestic market obligations and as a result gas produced from projects such as the PNG LNG Project is not available in the country to meet local energy demands.
ExxonMobil has produced more than 27 million tonnes of liquefied natural gas and delivered 374 shipments since production began in 2014.
In 2017, more than 8.2 million tonnes of LNG was produced.
The policies are to address the increasing cost of producing power or energy in the country and domestic market obligations, local content and third party access.
This White Paper is the first step in the important process to reform PNG’s natural gas policies.
It sets out the PNG Government’s vision and plans for implementing the necessary policies and legislative framework to match international best practice in order to support PNG’s economic development and prosperity.
It will allow our citizens to more fully and directly participate in our country’s gas industry, providing greater employment opportunities for our citizens, as well as improving electrification rates throughout our country.
When we examine the ingredients required for the development of petroleum accumulations, Papua New Guinea has all that is required, though we do not necessarily know the links between all of them.
But the evidence of petroleum endowment is manifest, widespread, and substantial.
Petroleum and natural gas (PNG) resources are linked to almost everything we use and do every day.
These resources are used to manufacture many of the products we rely on and enjoy, such as computers, cell phones, clothing and food containers, to name just a few.
The Government must be commended for its efforts to ensure maximum benefit to the country and its people through the National Gas Development Policy.