Duban congratulates EMPNG for acquitions of InterOil

Minister for Petroleum and Energy, Nixon Duban, has congratulated Exxon Mobil in concluding its acquisition of Interoil this week.

Duban said the acquisition will enable the company to create value for the shareholders of both companies and the people of Papua New Guinea.

On Monday, the Yukon Supreme Court in Canada approved a revised commercial arrangement between ExxonMobil and Interoil for the acquisition of the latter.

This follows a majority vote of 91 per cent by InterOil shareholders last week for the arrangements to take place.

Duban said the acquisition increases Exxonmobil’s position in the liquified natural gas business through a diverse asset base and strong dividend stream.

“I am confident that Exxon Mobil with its 40 years experience in the global LNG business will deliver a significant impact onto the resource development, third party access, pipeline , liquefaction plants, shipping and regasification terminals,” Duban said in a statement.

“Although there may be certain issues raised on competition I am sure our government sits in a very comfortable position to exercise its participating equity of 22.5 percent under the Oil and Gas Act. From experience we are very sure that bulk of the gas will be exported through a forward contract and we have already announced the Operator of Papua LNG. This will mean that before we sign any new agreement the state will have to carefully look into the issues of Domestic Market Obligation and Local Content. As government we will also push for the Gas Template Agreement to be properly concluded with more focus on the fiscal terms.”

Duban adds the government has no issues over independent commercial transactions that are geared towards cushioning current market conditions and associated trends.

He said acquisitions, mergers and amalgamations are normal business practices and the government was ready to work with all our investment partners.

Meanwhile, Duban has called on the Chamber of Mining and Petroleum to work closely with the Department of Petroleum and Energy to immediately kick start the transformation of the department to an authority as the key step.

He said the inaugural global Petroleum and Energy Summit will serve as the benchmark for policy review and pave the way for a comprehensive audit of our country's involvement in the industry.

Cedric Patjole