He said the Government would make sure they did not miss out.
“I want landowners to know they will not miss out,” he said.
“We will ensure they take up the option in the most economical way.”
Sonk, pictured, was responding to a question raised by The National on an issue raised in the petition presented to the Government by the people of Hela, in the wake of the death of Hela Governor Anderson Agiru.
“I can confirm that Kumul Petroleum (KPHL) always had a solution as a backstop to ensure all the beneficiaries of the UBSA exercised the option by June 30, 2016, and we are ready to step in closer to the due date for option expiring,” he said.
The Kroton equity to provincial governments and project area landowners is stipulated under the Umbrella Benefits Sharing Agreement, the Kokopo UBSA executed in 2009.
The option is for the purchase of 25.75 per cent stake in the US$19 billion (K59 billion) project’s special purpose vehicle Kroton No 2 where Kroton No 2 is nominee in the project.
Hence the option offered is an indirect interest in the project by virtue of the exercise of the share options given to them under the UBSA in 2009.
“We have not been actively involved in promoting the Kumul Petroleum-driven solution because the obligation is on the landowners and the affected provincial governments to come up with the money to pay for their share options,” he said.
“Given the economic conditions, especially the LNG price and oil price being low, KPHL will advise the Government the appropriate options. And it is up to the Government to make the decision and offer to the people before June 30.”