Focus must now turn to the next phase of the petroleum sector development in PNG. Prime Minister Peter O’Neill made this remark when opening the 2-day Petroleum Seminar in Port Moresby today.
The Petroleum Seminar is the first of two important resource sector seminars being held this week.
Hundreds, including overseas industry participants gathered at the Crowne Plaza today for the 2013 PNG Petroleum Seminar.
Hosted by the PNG Chamber of Mines and Petroleum, the seminar had the theme “Transforming The Economy: The Gas Era.”
Chamber President, Gerea Aopi, said that while much focus has been on the significance of the PNG Liquefied Natural Gas Project with the first LNG exports just around the corner, the mining sector, however, is suffering from falling commodity prices.
Prime Minister Peter O’Neill said that the “gas era” offers a once in a lifetime opportunity to transform the PNG economy, but stressed that the transformation must deliver the maximum benefits for PNG and its 7 and a half million people.
He said it was time that focus was put on the next phase and to move into partnership with gas sector tenement holders and potential investors to diversify, and maximize the economic and social benefits that will flow from future projects.
Mr. O’Neill said the government is in the process of setting up a separate company, Kumul Petroleum, to manage the equity and participation in the gas sector, with a separate company, Kumul Mining, to do likewise in the mining sector.
He said Kumul Petroleum and Kumul Minerals have been charged to be the pro-active drive for the PNG Government as an investor in the projects that it holds equity in, on behalf of the nation.