Post Courier | August 21, 2017
Oil Search managing director Peter Botten has called for an improvement on the disbursement of funds owed to landowners of the PNG LNG project.
The calls are in light of the ongoing debate pertaining to the benefits being derived from the oil and gas business.
Speaking at a business breakfast last week hosted by the Business Council of Papua New Guinea (BCPNG), Mr Botten told business and government leaders including the Prime Minister Peter O’Neill, that he believed there is a broad feeling that the recent developments have delivered little over the last few years.
“Benefits delivery from PNG LNG must improve. Landowners must be paid.
“The money is there, some have already been paid but barriers to revenue distribution must be removed,” he said.
“Over K3billion has been paid by the project in royalties, development levies and equity distributions to the State and landowners since 2014.
“Maybe not as much as some people expected but still it’s a considerable sum,” the managing director said.
Prior to these statements, Mr Botten had told the business and government leaders that with the right environment oil and gas production can more than double over the next five to seven years.
“Potential investment over K60billion in developments, appraisal and exploration are possible in this time frame. Construction can lead to over 20,000 new jobs with significant other spin off economic activities,” he said.
However he stressed there were many issues to resolve to make this happen.
He said a prerequisite to success is developers engaging with government, landowners and indeed the whole country to demonstrate fair value distribution for all parties must be achieved from existing projects.
“One that people feel is right value for resources extracted, one where developers work with state to deliver infrastructure address service delivery and support both economic and social development of the country,” Mr Botten said.