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Sonk: Kumul Petroleum Well Positioned to Manage Kikori Gas Fields

by PNG Business News - April 23, 2021

Kumul Petroleum Holdings Ltd (KPHL) is well-positioned financially and technically to manage the new gas fields in Kikori, Gulf, and is prepared to participate in other resource ventures such as Papua LNG.

Wapu Sonk, the company's managing director, said this in response to the government's decision to grant the national oil and gas company wholly owned and operated petroleum retention licences 48, 49, and 50, which cover the gas fields of Kimu, Barikewa, and Uramu.

Kimu and Barikewa areas are onshore, while Uramu is offshore in Kikori's deeper waters.

“Kumul Petroleum is almost debt-free,” he said. “Our balances are very strong. We have a very strong cash flow that comes from the PNG LNG project and other projects including the power projects in Hides and the Port Moresby power station (NiuPower Ltd) as well. So we are stronger to operate the licences.”

The Petroleum Advisory Board (PAB) had examined the company's financial situation and decided to issue them certain licenses, according to Sonk.

He said that KPHL had released its financial accounts and analyses over the previous three years and that the board of directors had concluded that the firm was in good shape.

“This is not a free gift from the Government,” he said. “It has gone through the proper assessment process by the PAB which is an independent body.”

Sonk said PAB had also assessed the technical capabilities of KPHL

“We have been here for 10 years building capacities and we got this on merit,” he said. “But it also fits into the Government’s overall policies.” 

Sonk also mentioned that KPHL will look at less expensive and more efficient ways to commercialize the fields, including downstream manufacturing, power generation, quicklime, and cement production, among other things.

He said that KPHL will welcome potential parties to evaluate the gas fields and bring them into the drilling and production phase.



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