Kua: Project talks on hold
FORMAL talks on the development of the Twinza Oil’s Pasca A project in Gulf will begin once the Covid-19 pandemic passes, says Petroleum and Energy Minister Kerenga Kua.
Kua said that Twinza, the project developer, was ready to begin talks with the State.
“Twinza is ready to go ahead (with Pasca A negotiations),” he said.
“We have a draft submission in place for the project.
“As soon as the prime minister allows us to go ahead, the paper will go to Cabinet.”
Prime Minister James Marape said last weekend that the economy needed to see major resource projects off the ground quickly.
Marape mentioned Wafi-Golpu in Morobe and the P’nyang gas project in Western.
Economists and heads of financial institutions recently suggested that the economy needed those projects off the ground quickly.
Kua said talks and submissions were on hold right now because of the Covid-19 pandemic around the world.
On the P’nyang gas project in Western, Kua said informal talks between the State and developer were ongoing.
“I don’t want to raise any expectation yet. ExxonMobil has the opportunity to come with better plan for all joint venture partners,” he said.
Meanwhile, Kua said ExxonMobil, the operator of the PNG LNG project, was doing its best to maintain production and the export of LNG.
He said it had led to increase in transport costs as normally LNG carriers would have to wait eight days before they were cleared.
Because of Covid-19, it is taking 14 days for the ships to be cleared and turned around, he explained.
It adds to transport costs for the project operator if it is to maintain the export schedules.
Kua said the country could be getting nothing from the project this year.
“We may be expecting nothing this year,” he said.
“This is subject to the oil price war between Russia and Saudi Arabia and Covid-19.
“This will be a very bad year for all of us; it’s impacting every industry and the whole economy.”