Petroleum prospecting licences in default: Dept

Forty petroleum prospecting licences (PPLs) have been found to be in default following a review by the Department of Petroleum and Energy.

Outgoing Acting Secretary of the Department, Lohial Nuau, revealed during the hand-over take-over ceremony of the Secretary role to permanent Secretary, David Manau.

The Department of Petroleum and Energy initiated the license review in 2015.

During Nuau’s tenure, 70 PPLs were reviewed for compliance purposes in respect to annual records.

40 licences were found to be in default, owing the state millions of Kina.

“Seven of the defaulters have been sent default notices with a total value in arears including penalties amounting to K1.8 million,” said Nuau.

“Based on the due diligence carried out by the Licensing Department, the defaulters owe the State approximately K10 million plus in excess of K4 million that needs to be recouped from past defaulters.”

Nuau urges his successor that the entire petroleum license regime be reviewed.

“It is my recommendation that the whole petroleum licences under the regime must be subjected to review and defaulters must be penalised provided the department gives a fair and reasonable opportunity to the defaulters to be heard,” Nuau said.


Cedric Patjole