Return Oil Fields To State, Says former PNG Prime Minister Peter O’Neill

 Former Papua New Guinea  prime minister Peter O’Neill has demanded Oil Search to return the oil fields to the State and its people before any merger with Santos.

“I call on Oil Search to surrender the oil fields at K1 share value.”

He said the State can manage these assets under Kumul Petroleum Holdings Limited.

Return Oil Fields To State, Says former PNG Prime Minister Peter O’Neill
Return Oil Fields To State, Says former PNG Prime Minister Peter O’Neill

“Now we see Oil Search merging with Santos, two of our biggest shareholders in the PNG LNG project and our government has gone to sleep. The government has not spoken out about this transaction which is going to have enormous impact and ramification on our economy and of course our own shareholding in that project. Why I say this is after the merger, the merged company will be the biggest shareholder on this project, it will be bigger than ExxonMobil, bigger than PNG government and of course when you have a bigger shareholding you have a bigger say as well.”

Mr O’Neill said the government needs to engage with Oil Search now.

“The government must stop playing petty politics, sit down with these corporate leaders and negotiate an outcome where by Papua New Guinea must take over the oil fields of Kutubu, Angore, Juha and Hides at K1 share vakue.

“Oil Search have already received enough money from their investments, they have recovered their initial investments already.”

Mr O’Neill said Oil Search, Santos and ExxonMobil have made 6-10 times value of their investments and have fully recovered.

“Our government needs to protect the interest of our country and that is Oil Search must transfer the shares for K1.

“Many of the losses that we have suffered is because Oil Search introduced us to IPIC, to Goldman Sachs in 2009, and to UBS, only because Oil Search was protecting its own interest whereas we thought we were working together as partners in development and interest of our people, unfortunately now we know where we are but right now our government’s number one priority is to take back our oil fields.”

Mr O’Neill said most of the oil and gas fields have been depleted.

“We have shown capability of managing Ok Tedi ourselves and I am certain we have enough experience to manage the oil fields of Kutubu, Angore, Juha and Moran.”

“If this government does not do it, I can assure you that it will be one of our first priorities when we come in 2022,”

Post Courier / Pacific Mining Watch

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