Prime Minister Hon. James Marape, MP on Thursday 07 October 2021, met with the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Santos Limited, Mr. Kevin Gallagher and was briefed on the merger it is pursuing with Oil Search Limited. It was an important opportunity to be briefed on the broad strategic intentions of the company, and its long-term commitments and the specific processes and the expected merger timelines. 

“It was important for me to recognise the commercial nature of this merger and the regulatory processes which it is following, and that meeting provided me the basic appreciation of the intentions of this merger and the time lines.” 

“Oil Search Ltd has a long association with Papua New Guinea, and while the merger would see a rebranding of the business, the new entity is a much bigger entity. It will provide the much stronger balance sheet for important developments in all the Oil Search and Santos licenses in Papua New Guinea. This is a positive development in terms of Papua New Guinea investment destination aspirations.” 

The Prime Minister was also briefed by Santos on their intentions in terms of its high-level governance arrangement, people development and the commercial arrangements, as well as on new energy concepts, future discussions on key matters such as equity following the merger. 

“I was especially delighted to hear Santo’s willingness to engage in discussions about the future outlook of the company, because it resonates well with our government’s position to look at key national empowerment interests.” 

The Prime Minister attended the meeting with Governor for Southern Highlands, the Honorable William Powi, the Kumul Petroleum Limited Wapu Sonk, and Secretary for the Prime Minister’s Department, Ivan Pomaleu. 

“I congratulate Santos on its move to expand its presence in the country. I also look forward to supporting the new entity as I and our successive Governments have done for Oil Search in the past”