OIL COMPANIES PLAN MAJOR EXTRACTION IN PNG HIGHLANDS

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Projects estimated at $30 billion

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, August 21, 2009) – Papua New Guinea will see projects worth K70 billion [US$27 billion] to K80 billion [US$31 billion] by 2014 in the oil and gas industries, Petroleum and Energy Secretary Rendle Rimua says.

Companies that will lead these projects include ExxonMobil with the PNG LNG project (K30 billion), InterOil Corporation with Liquid Niugini Gas (K30 billion), Horizon Energy (about K3 billion) and Talisman Energy (about K3 billion) and another company is eyeing a project worth up to K1 billion.

Mr Rimua said irresponsible reporting would damage the integrity of the country among investors and financiers and these opportunities could "go elsewhere".

He announced these major projects while attacking The National newspaper for its front page story on Wednesday which he declined to deny or confirm.

The article quoted an unnamed DPE officer as saying K160 million had been given to landowners in the Southern Highlands and Gulf but other people complained they had missed out.

"The petroleum industry is complicated. We are not only talking about extracting hydrocarbon as anything comes out when you get crude oil out," Mr Rimua said. "We are talking about downstream processing and looking at long term benefits for this country."He said if the Government, his department and the country continued to get bad publicity, the investors would not have any confidence in the country and go elsewhere. "(If this happens) we will still be a developing country," he said. He said such negative reporting affected himself and his staff who were being threatened already by various groups and were working under duress.

Mr Rimua added that the 107 staff remained in the department as they wanted to get things done.

"All of them will move out one day and all of us will suffer if the project is affected," Mr Rimua said.

 

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