Fuel crisis

Fuel supply restored

In a press conference held this afternoon, Deputy Prime Minister John Rosso, said there will no longer be any fuel issues experienced over the next few weeks and months.

This morning major centres across the country were hit hard with fuel shortage with a few fuel stations temporarily closing just after midday.

This prompted for an immediate intervention; the DPM met with Bank of Papua New Guinea (BPNG) and representatives including Puma chief executive officer today to find solutions to the ongoing fuel crisis.

Limited fuel in Lae

This is a result of Puma Energy’s restrictions on fuel supply in the country due to ‘unresolved foreign currency constraints’.

At Top Town, the TotalEnergies service station put handwritten notices near its pumps, stating ‘No petrol’. Total gets its fuel from Puma Energy.

At Snackbar, Ryan Maiah of the Huon Gulf Service Station advised drivers at 11am today that petrol is no longer available.

“Puma Energy has fuel but they have an issue with the Government in terms of foreign exchange that is why they have not supplied fuel since last week,” he stated.

Gov’t in talks of establishing local fuel refinery

Prime Minister James Marape said the Government has been holding talks with ExxonMobil, Total Energies and Santos, together with Mineral Resources Development Authority and State-owned company KPHL, to look into the immediate import of fuel and a long-term solution in the construction of a locally-based refinery for downstream processing to secure the domestic market.

Inadequate supply of FX affects fuel supply

Prime Minister James Marape said this resulted in Puma stopping its supply of aviation gasoline to Air Niugini, because it could not get the required FX to bring in fuel, resulting in all flights being cancelled last Thursday.

Marape said this on Sunday (January 8, 2022) after meeting with top executives of Puma Energy in Singapore.

He was accompanied by Petroleum and Energy Minister, Kerenga Kua and State-Solicitor Daniel Ropalgarea.

Bakani clarifies BPNG, Puma saga

“So Puma needs USD to buy Kutubu crude and that's exerting pressure on PNG banks and BPNG to supply USD to Puma.”

Mr Bakani was responding to this newsroom for clarification on the recent fuel saga between Puma and Bank of PNG which affected the supply of JET A1 fuel to airplanes and a cancellation of flights.

Bakani told this newsroom that there is no agreement between Puma and supplier of Kutubu crude oil for purchases in Kina by Puma.

He stressed that this is one major area that needs to be reviewed for Puma to purchase Kutubu crude oil in Kina.

Pending approvals delay forex

In a statement released this afternoon, Puma stated, “For several months we have been working closely with various stakeholders to ensure sustainable flows of foreign currency, which is critical to buying fuel on the international market.

“Unfortunately, due to pending approvals of our FX by the relevant authority, we are unable to continue maintaining the necessary supply of product to all our customers.”

However, Puma stated that they will continue to work hand-in-hand with the relevant authorities to ensure security of fuel supply for PNG.

Puma to continue support

This restriction was effective as of Wednesday 4th January, 2023; and affects Air Niugini and all other airlines operating throughout Papua New Guinea.