JX Nippon oil and gas exploration has received approval to acquire a 2.58 percent stake in the Papua LNG project from TotalEnergies EP PNG Ltd.
According to Paulus Ain, commissioner and CEO of the Independent Consumer and Competition Commission (ICCC), TotalEnergies will continue to operate the project, and the positions of both parties in the oil and gas industry in PNG will remain unchanged. He stated, "It will remain the same, either pre or post-acquisition."
Ain further explained the details of the proposed acquisition, saying, "The proposed acquisition involves TotalEnergies selling to the acquirer a minority interest of 2.58 percent (pre-state back-in right) in the Papua LNG project." He emphasized that the 2 percent participating interest being sold is too small to have any decision-making power or significant control over the Papua LNG project or any markets in PNG. Therefore, it is unlikely to raise any concerns regarding completion.
After carefully reviewing the applicant's submissions, market information, and feedback from relevant industry stakeholders, the ICCC concluded that the proposed acquisition would not result in a substantial lessening of competition in any markets in PNG. Ain stated, "The ICCC was satisfied that the proposed acquisition will not have, or will not be likely to have, the effect of substantial lessening of competition in any markets in PNG."