S.Highlands, Hela ink deal


SOUTHERN Highlands and Hela have signed an agreement for the distribution of benefits from the PNG LNG project including assets jointly owned.
Mineral Resource Development Company (MRDC) managing director Augustine Mano said when the PNG LNG project was signed, the benefits had been left hanging for 13 years because there was no distribution framework for the two provinces.
The agreement allows benefits from oil and gas fields in Southern Highlands to be split: 60 per cent retained by Southern Highlands and 40 per cent for Hela.
Southern Highlands will retain 60 per cent of benefits from PDL2 (Kutubu and Moran), which included royalties, special support grants funds and development levies.
Hela would retain 60 per cent of benefits from all gas fields, which included royalties, development levies and the Kroton equity.
The Southern Highlands government equity in Bank South Pacific and Petroleum Resources Kutubu will also be split, with 40 per cent going to Hela.
Hela Governor Philip Undialu said the benefit distribution was a long outstanding issue.
“Under clause 24 of the UBSA (Umbrella Benefit Sharing Agreement), all the benefits were parked under Southern Highlands,” he said.
“It was agreed that as and when Hela gains provincial status, those benefits will be divided in equitable terms and it was just that no framework was established.”
Southern Highlands Governor William Powi said: “Hela was part of Southern Highlands and we jointly owned assets as the provincial government, some of which are not included in the PNG LNG project benefits.”