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Port Moresby (Papua New Guinea Post-Courier/PINA Nius Online, 31 July 2002)---Papua New Guinea’s oil industry, rich though it is, may be the only sector that has not been riddled with corruption, inducements, favors and kickbacks, an industry leader said yesterday.

ChevronTexaco asset manager Mike Casey made the comment while giving the keynote address during the celebration of PNG’s 10th anniversary of the first oil export on June 27, 1992 from the Kutubu fields.

Mr. Casey addressed executives from the petroleum and resources industry during the anniversary celebrations at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Port Moresby’s central business district.

Notably absent were Papua New Guinean politicians and bureaucrats.

Operational excellence, production and cost control under the supervision of ChevronTexaco and its partners, including landowners, were the main attributes of Kutubu, Gobe and now Moran’s world-class exports, Mr. Casey said.

In particular, Mr. Casey thanked landowners for their support over the years, which has also seen revenue derived by their companies worth up to K 480 million (US$ 122,304,000) since 1991.

The joint venture itself had expended over K 140 million (US$ 35,672,000) in tax-credit schemes through infrastructure, health, education and training.

"I’m a firm believer that in the next 20-30 years, there is going to be someone, somewhere, producing oil and gas in PNG," Mr. Casey said.

"This industry is going to persist well beyond the lifetime of many of us today."

Mr. Casey also paid tribute to the expertise developed over the years by ChevronTexaco, which has now culminated in 81 percent of the workforce being Papua New Guinean.

"These values I suggest are a part of the greater contribution made to PNG by the oil industry and bringing a lasting benefit that is more than just money," he said.

"There is a way of doing business that is ethical, that is honest and truthful, that believes in technical excellence and full value for a day’s pay.

"Inherent in these values are corporate standards that reject entirely the notions of sly money and inducements, of favors and kickbacks that are common in so many industries in too many countries -- sadly a feature of daily life in some quarters of our society.

"In the PNG oil industry, rich though it is, there have been no such favors or kick-backs, no sly money, no corruption of public officials."

For additional reports from The Post-Courier, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/The Post-Courier (Papua New Guinea).

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