PNG, All Oil And Gas Prospecting Licenses

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Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i

Under Review
Attempt to rid system of foreign companies abusing process

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, July 9, 2014) – All prospecting licences for oil and gas in the country are undergoing review, Petroleum and Energy Minister Nixon Duban said yesterday.

Duban said he was taking this critical first step to get rid of unlisted foreign companies that were abusing the country’s licensing regime by "wholesaling" licenses to the highest bidders.

He said some of these licences were used by spectators to raise money for themselves at the disadvantage of Papua New Guinea and its people.

"I have directed the Department of Petroleum and Energy to review all currently held prospecting licences in the sector with the firm view to ascertain their status and to verify the ability and seriousness of the license holders over their prospective permit area.

"I will soon take possession of this review report and seek cabinet direction on what to do with those permit holders who do not demonstrate capacity and seriousness in developing their permit areas.

"This review is necessary for the government to establish who, among the license holders, is a serious player and who is not.

"This is so that this nation and its people and government are not kept guessing on who should really be the company or player that we should pay attention and offer concessions to as these demonstrate interest in harvesting our natural treasures."

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