Papua New Guinea to stand by Oil Search LNG deal
A $20 billion liquefied natural gas project in Papua New Guinea which was facing uncertainty after the ousting of the country's prime minister has been given the green light, with the government clearing Australian-listed Oil Search and its partners to proceed "full steam ahead".
Following months of uncertainty about whether or not PNG intended to honour the terms of the Papua LNG Project deal, Petroleum Minister Kerenga Kua on Tuesday said the government would allow the project to go ahead in accordance with the terms of the gas agreement.
The deal for the Papua LNG project – a joint venture between Total, Exxon Mobil Corp and Oil Search – was agreed in April after 12 months of negotiations with the PNG government.
But the project was beset by uncertainty after PNG Prime Minister Peter O'Neill was ousted in Mayand the government's new leadership team signalled a "desire to renegotiate some of the agreement terms", according to Oil Search.
Oil Search managing director Peter Botten said the company was pleased the government had completed its review and endorsed the gas agreement.
"We are pleased that the PNG cabinet (National Executive Council), has completed its review of the Papua LNG gas agreement and has validated the agreement as executed on 9 April 2019,” Mr Botten said.
"The Papua LNG Project will help deliver billions of kina in value to the PNG economy, support local businesses and provide greater employment opportunities for thousands of Papua New Guineans."