THE Papua New Guinea Government welcomes additional foreign investments in the growing oil and gas industry in the country says Minister for Petroleum and Energy William Duma.
Mr Duma said this in the recent announcement of InterOil Corporation’s decision in selecting France oil and gas company, Total SA as its development partner for the Elk-Antelope gas discoveries.
Mr Duma said the agreement between InterOil and Total has been lodged with the department of petroleum and energy and is awaiting PNG government approval under the Oil and Gas Act.
He said the government strongly supports the introduction of a new multinational oil and gas entry into the country with the development of Elk-Antelope and to confirm that PNG is well and truly open for new business.
"Strengthening competition of the LNG sector in this great resource rich country is high on our government’s agenda", said Mr Duma.
Minister Duma also stated that the Total transaction will be subject to the normal government approval process.
He added that the approval process will be in the context of the 2009 InterOil LNG project agreement which will be terminated on December 31st by the state.
He said that the PNG government does not except further divestment of the operating interests in the Elk-Antelope project by either Total or InterOil.
He added that InterOil is expected to have found an operator by now in order to progress in the anticipated development of the resources without further undue delay.