O’Neill congratulates US Secretary of State nominee

Prime Minister Peter O'Neill has congratulated the chairman and CEO of ExxonMobil, Rex Tillerson, on being nominated by United States President-elect Donald Trump to be the Secretary of State.

O'Neill said he was delighted Papua New Guinea would have a "very good and genuine friend" in the Donald Trump administration in one of the most important offices in the US Government.

"Our nation is privileged to know Mr Tillerson as a person with a genuine interest in economic development in our nation,” PM O’Neill said.

“In my discussions with Mr Tillerson on ExxonMobil's substantial and long term investment in Papua New Guinea's energy sector, I have been impressed by his understanding of the potential our nation holds.

“He has a clear appreciation of our oil and gas sector, and his confidence in the expansion of this sector," he said.

The Prime Minister said that in the ten years Tillerson has been chairman and CEO of ExxonMobil, the world's largest energy company, he has been heavily involved in the development of the PNG LNG project.

“From the initial negotiation right through to the completion of construction, and the initiation of exports, Mr Tillerson led his team,” said the PM.

"Never at any stage did his confidence in Papua New Guinea waver, and we owe him an enduring debt of gratitude for that.

"Under the leadership of ExxonMobil, with good partners such as Oil Search, this trail blazing project was delivered on time - and it is now a benchmark for the future expansion of the sector in Papua New Guinea," O’Neill said.

"I look forward to continuing our relationship with Mr Tillerson in his new role, and welcoming him as Secretary of State to APEC Papua New Guinea 2018 meetings.

"The government and people of Papua New Guinea join with me in congratulating Rex Tillerson in the high honour and the great challenge the President-elect has given him, and we wish him well in the future.”

(Picture: Independent)

Press release