State, Twinza given a week to close negotiations


TEAMS from the Government and Twinza Oil Ltd negotiating a deal on the Pasca A oil and gas project have until Aug 16 to wrap things up, says Petroleum Minister Kerenga Kua.
If they fail to do that, Kua said the Government would decide whether to continue, suspend or terminate negotiations.
He said the core agreements on the State’s stake on the project had already been agreed to – except for ancillary agreements and details.
Twinza in a statement on Tuesday said the Government team had “marked up” the gas agreement with new terms on Aug 6 which was different to what was previously agreed to in their meeting on July 6.
Twinza said the Government made more than 2,000 changes in 76 pages of the agreement, “essentially a new agreement which is not acceptable by any investor and that the project is non-commercial and financeable”.
But Kua told Parliament yesterday that negotiations had been going on for months.
“The core basis of the agreements have been agreed to.
“What is in dispute is the ancillary bits and pieces that shouldn’t really be a deal breaker,” he said.
“But since they (Twinza) have expressed a contrary view, we have said (that) somewhere down the line, (we have) got to say enough is enough because otherwise we will carry on forever.”
He urged both teams “to get into serious discussions”.
“By Aug 16, they must make some meaningful progress,” Kua said.
“If they don’t, then the state does have options.
“(It) will reconsider whether we should continue with this negotiation or we suspend it or we terminate it.
“We will consider whatever at that point in time.
‘We have to be firm in negotiations because if we don’t, we will be taken for a ride forever,” he said.