Prime Ministers Media Releases

PM MARAPE MEETS WITH SANTOS OVER OIL SEARCH MERGER

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” 

PM MARAPE GIVES K1.5 MILLION FOR COFFEE DEVELOPMENT IN MENYAMYA

Prime Minister Hon. James Marape has released K1.5 million for coffee development in remote Menyamya, Morobe, which produces some of the best coffee in Papua New Guinea.
 
He announced this at Menyamya Station on Friday (October 8 2021) in front of hundreds of people during his one-day visit.
 
PM Marape was accompanied by Education Minister Hon. Jimmy Uguro, Morobe Governor Hon. Ginson Saonu and Menyamya MP Hon. Benjamin Philip – who are all members of the ruling Pangu Pati.
 
He said that of the K1.5 million, K1 million would be for a coffee depot, while K500,000 would go towards coffee price support to be administered by local churches.
 
“I want the Menyamya District Administration to set up a good coffee-buying depot here for K1 million so farmers don’t need to carry heavy bags on their shoulders to find markets in Bulolo and Lae,” PM Marape said.
 
“I want coffee to be bought here at good prices, which farmers can collect, and then return to their gardens
 
“I want the churches to get the K500,000 and buy coffee at good prices.
 
“Our Government has put in place a price support programme to support coffee, cocoa, copra, vanilla and other agriculture produce.
 
“Coffee buyers who are buying here, and at Marawaka (Eastern Highlands) for K1.50 per kg, should now be paying K6 per kg.
 
“I want the Menyamya District Administration to partner with the churches in delivering this programme.
 
“I am engaging the churches so they can involve young people and get them back to their coffee gardens.
 
“The churches will then buy coffee at a good price.”
 
PM Marape said PNG was “one big garden” which he emphasized recently at the United Nations General Assembly in New York City.
 
“Our job as Government is to help you get your produce to markets,” he said.
 
“If five million Papua New Guineans go to agriculture, and produce one bag of coffee, cocoa or copra, you are contributing K1.5 billion extra on top of our current National Budget of K12 billion.”
 
PM Marape said the Pangu Pati, at the time of Independence in 1975, envisaged a PNG where everyone would have money but this had fallen by the wayside.
 
“We are now picking up and putting PNG back on the right road to economic independence, where everyone will have money in their pockets,” he said.
 
“When my Government realised that the price of coffee, cocoa and copra was very low, and deterring farmers, we decided to introduce price support and buying points at farm gate.”

PM MARAPE REASSURES PNG OF A BETTER DEAL FROM P’NYANG GAS PROJECT

Prime Minister Hon. James Marape has reassured Papua New Guinea of a better deal from the P’nyang Gas Project in Western than previous projects.
 
He gave this reassurance in Parliament today (Tuesday Oct 12) when answering a series of questions from North Fly MP Hon.James Donald in relation to P’nyang, as well as execution of the Heads of Agreement (HOA) on P’nyang Gas Agreement along with an Equity Purchase HOA with ExxonMobil in the USA last month.
 
PM Marape said he, and Petroleum Minister Hon. Kerenga Kua, would give a detailed answer to all 13 questions posed by Donald later.
 
“The Heads of Agreement we signed in Houston was to set out a framework to guide us into a proper Gas Agreement with ExxonMobil as developer,” he explained.
 
PM Marape said when he became Prime Minister in May 2019, his first statement was that P’nyang would not be part of Papua LNG, as the previous O’Neill government had wanted.
 
He assured Donald that his people of North Fly, Western and PNG would get a better deal from P’nyang as the world moved towards cleaner energy.
 
“The State will get 63 per cent of total project economic benefits from P’nyang,” PM Marape said.
 
“PNG LNG sits at 49 per cent, Papua LNG sits at 51 per cent.
 
“I want to give a big thank to (Gulf) Governor Haiveta for leading the team as my special envoy.
 
“This (negotiation with ExxonMobil) was a National Government function, and as we move towards the Gas Agreement, there will be a time to call in the province and landowners.
 
“This will be a public exercise as we did with PNG LNG.”
 
PM Marape said his Government’s wanting to take back more for PNG included P’nyang, Porgera, forestry and other resources.
 
He thanked ExxonMobil for understanding the dynamics at play, including allowing for the Stae to acquire an additional 10 per cent equity.
 
PM Marape also noted the planned Oil Search-Santos merger, and said that in the event they offloaded part of their stake in P’nyang or PNG LNG, national interest – through Kumul Petroleum - would take precedence
 
The Gas Agreement HOA captures key fiscal, regulatory and licencing terms. The Equity HOA provides for the State to acquire at cost 10 per cent additional equity from ExxonMobil in the P’nyang Project.
 
The overall deal reflects a win-win for both sides. In addition to all the legal entitlements, the State’s take is at 63 per cent in this deal compared to 49 per cent in PNG LNG and and 51 per cent in Papua. This is made possible by increased production levy of 3 per cent and the State equity (including the commercial purchase) being 32.5 per cent compared to just 19.6 per cent in the PNG LNG and 22.5 per cent in Papua.
 
The deal makes P’nyang an investment grade bankable project, meeting the project partners’ investment thresholds and gives it the best chance of going into construction.

PM MARAPE TELLS MENYAMYA PEOPLE THAT GOVERNMENT IS MORE RURAL-FOCUSED

Prime Minister Hon. James Marape has told the people of remote Menyamya, Morobe, that his Government is reprioritizing its development focus from urban to rural areas of the country.
 
He said this when addressing hundreds of people at Menyamya Station on Friday (October 8, 2021) during his one-day visit there.
 
“We are starting to reprioritize our development focus now,” PM Marape told the people of Menyamya and guests including Education Minister Hon. Jimmy Uguro, Menyama MP Hon. Benjamin Philip and Morobe Governor Hon. Ginson Saonu.
 
“When we took Government two years ago, we decided that it was enough of spending too much money on Port Moresby and one or two other areas, but share it equally among all areas of Papua New Guinea.”
 
PM Marape said Menyama was one of those areas which the Government was now focusing on.
 
He told the people that their MP, Hon. Philip, had long been fighting for improved road access in Menyamya, which borders remote Kaintiba in Gulf and Marawaka in Eastern Highlands.
 
PM Marape said Menyamya already had road access, even if only by four-wheel drive vehicles, while other remote areas of the country such as Karamui in Chimbu, Telefomin in West Sepik, Marawaka and Simbai in Madang had none.
 
He said only K3 billion was earmarked for district infrastructure development in the National Budget over the last two years, because of debts incurred by the previous government of Peter O’Neill, and this had to be equally shared among all provinces and the Autonomous Region of Bougainville.
 
“ If you divide it among the 111 district and provincial procurement points, this equates to K27 million on an equal distribution. This includes the K10 million District Services Improvement Programme /Provincial Services Improvement Programme so you are  left with about K17 million each for other development programs," PM Marape said. 
 
"We have tried to be fair over the last two years. 
 
"For Menyamya, we have K10 million in Budget for the main road and I am bringing an additional K8 million for other development needs in the district including SMEs, agriculture and education.
 
“Whatever little left (in the National Budget) was distributed, as best as possible, to rural areas of the country. 
 
“This includes K10 million for road development in Menyamya.
 
“This may seem small, however, every year we will put in another K10 million, so that bulldozers are on the road.
 
“Over the next five to 10 years, we can make this road become a good one.”
 
PM Marape said if, over the last 46 years, K5 million had been allocated annually for road development in Menyamya, that would equate to K230 million.
 
“This, however, had not happened and I will not blame past governments,” he said.
 
“However, I want to reassure you people of Menyamya, that the road contract for the road from Bulolo to Menyamya is near completion.
 
“We will also work on the Trans-Island Highway from Menyama to Gulf Province.
 
“By the time we celebrate 50 years of Independence in 2025, you can be assured of a better road which can be accessed by PMVs, and not only four-wheel drive vehicles as is the case now.
 
“I know that the road issue is one that you are all concerned about.”