Dept of Petroleum and Energy highlights key challenges

The Department of Petroleum and Energy is faced with key challenges and in order to address these, it needs the Government’s backing in terms of budget and political support.

Secretary for Department of Petroleum and Energy, David Manau yesterday highlighted the key challenges at the opening of the two-day Community Affairs and Media Workshop held in Port Moresby.

The challenges currently faced are landowner issues, legacy issues, capacity and funding constraints and lack of data.

He presented that landowner issues in topping the list of challenges has consumed a lot of time and resources, especially the Landowner Beneficiary Identification (LOBID) exercise, which often has been delayed due to different landowner factions taking out court injunctions to frustrate the LOBID exercise.

“Since 2009, there are still a number of legacy issues that haunts the department resulting from the signing of the PNG LNG Umbrella Based Benefit Sharing Agreements (UBBSA) and Licensed Based Benefit Sharing Agreements (LBBSA) in Kokopo.

“This include LBBSA review, provincial government and local level government Benefit Sharing, UBBSA and LBBSA service provide claims, outstanding ministerial commitments and outstanding IDG funds promised to the landowners since 2009,” Manau said.

The department highlights that it lacks data of the petroleum sector is one of the key challenges to promote the petroleum potential of the country to attract potential investors. With this, it also lacks funding and technical capacity to drive its work.

Despite these challenges, Secretary Manau said the department would continue to work with landowners, provincial governments, local level governments and stakeholders to address these key challenges. However, support of the government, landowners and stakeholders remains critical to help address the key challenges.

Susan Oreape