PNG Kumul Petroleum in good position to operate Kikori gas fields: Sonk

 Papua New Guinea Government owned company KUMUL Petroleum Holdings Ltd (KPHL) is in a good financial and technical position to operate the new gas fields in Kikori, Gulf, and is ready for the participation of other resource projects such as Papua LNG.

Managing director Wapu Sonk said this in welcoming the Government’s decision to award the petroleum retention licences 48, 49 and 50 covering the gas fields of Kimu, Barikewa and Uramu to the national oil and gas company to wholly own and operate.

Kimu and Barikewa fields are onshore and Uramu is offshore in the shallow waters of Kikori area.

“Kumul Petroleum is almost debt-free,” he said.

“Our balances are very strong.

“We have a very strong cash flow that comes from the PNG LNG project and other projects including the power projects in Hides and the Port Moresby power station (NiuPower Ltd) as well.

“So we are stronger to operate the licences.”

Sonk noted that the Petroleum Advisory Board (PAB) had assessed the company’s financial position and had agreed to award them those licences.

He said KPHL had disclosed its financial statements and reports for the last three years and the board had agreed that the company was in a strong position.

“This is not a free gift from the Government,” he said.

“It has gone through proper assessment process by the PAB which is an independent body.”

Sonk said PAB had also assessed KPHL’s technical capacities.

“We have been here for 10 years building capacities and we got this on merit,” he said.

“But it also fits into the Government’s overall policies.” Sonk also noted that KPHL would explore cheaper and more cost effective ways to commercialise the fields not only in liquefied natural gas production but downstream processing, power generation, quicklime and cement production, among others.

He said KPHL would invite partners, who were interested in those gas fields, assess them and get them on board in the drilling and development process.


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