THE State-owned National Petroleum Company Papua New Guinea (NPCP) has paid more than K86 million in dividends to the State.
NPCP is a partner and represents the Government’s interests in the PNG LNG project.
Presenting a cheque for K86.4 million to Government through Independent Public Business Corporation (IPBC) yesterday, chairman Frank Kramer said NPCP had pulled through a trying time given difficult situations in the global market, to pay the half yearly dividend.
“It’s important that we are reminded of the volatility in the global market at the moment. Not just from the problems in Europe and in Greece, but the decline in growth rate in China has impacted on the volatility of the oil price,” he said.
“And more recently the issues surrounding Iran, the likelihood of its increase of the oversupply into the market, which as well, we must keep an eye on.
“Our board was very positive about endorsing management for this interim dividend.”
Kramer assured Government of NPCP’s ongoing support.
Managing director Wapu Sonk said the dividend was a result of combined revenue from NPCP’s investments in the country “from LNG sales, Oil Search dividend, Hides gas to electricity and our share from the oil and gas from the Cue Energy assets”. He added that the dividend paid last year to the Government was a special dividend as NPCP did not expect to make that kind of revenue.
“We had six to seven months of early revenue so we had to pass it to Government,” Sonk said.
“That’s why it was higher and the oil price was slightly higher as well.”
“K415 million was paid to Government last year.
“This brings to a total of K501.4 million dividend payment to IBPC as a shareholder of NPCP in the very short history of the National Petroleum Company Papua New Guinea ”
He reiterated that this payment was a reflection at back of decline in oil price and challenges that NPCP was facing.
“We tried to sort of keep it tight, managing our operations and putting pressure on ExxonMobil (PNG Ltd) and Oil Search and our partners that are operating on behalf of us, to put down the operating costs so we can make profit and pay dividend to the State.”
Sonk said final dividend for this year would be done early next year.