The Government is set to make significant legislative changes in the energy sector, with plans to introduce a bill to establish the National Petroleum Authority in Parliament before the year's end, according to the announcement made by the Minister of Petroleum and Energy, Kerenga Kua, during the recent Petroleum and Energy Conference.
Minister Kua outlined the key responsibilities of the National Petroleum Authority, stating that it will take charge of the administration of the Oil and Gas Act. He went on to emphasize that this authority is expected to become fully operational by the close of the first quarter in 2024.
One of the most noteworthy aspects of this reform is the shift from the current concession-based system to a petroleum production sharing regime, which will effectively change the country's ownership and management of petroleum and energy resources. Minister Kua reaffirmed the government's commitment to this transition.
“The Marape Government will be introducing a bill into parliament before the end of this calendar year, establishing the National Petroleum Authority,” Minister Kua confirmed. “This authority will oversee the administration and management of the Oil and Gas Act and, in due course, the administration and management of production sharing arrangements."
In addition to the establishment of the National Petroleum Authority, Minister Kua announced another significant legislative development—the introduction of a new constitutional law known as the Organic Law on Petroleum Production Sharing. This law will serve as the foundational framework for the upcoming production sharing regime.
Minister Kua clarified that the new production sharing provisions outlined in the organic law will not apply to Bougainville and existing oil and gas development projects such as PNGLNG, PapuaLNG, and P’Nyang, which already operate under established gas development agreements.
Beyond these key legislative changes, the government's reform agenda in the petroleum and energy sector encompasses several other crucial components, including the Petroleum Production Sharing Act, National Content for the Petroleum Act, and the Domestic Market Obligation Act.