OSL sale tops agenda in parlt sitting

It all started with a question without notice from Moresby North-West MP, Sir Mekere Morauta, asking Prime Minister Peter O’Neill a series of questions in relation to the sale.

“Why have you sold the shares at prices below what you paid for?

“It has been reported that you sold the last tranche of 31 million shares at $6.70, $1.50 less than the purchase price, incurring a loss on this final parcel alone of around K120 million,” pointed out the former prime minister.

“At what prices did you sell the other 118 million shares – more than $8.20 or less?

O’Neill condemns Sir Mekere’s statements

He said Sir Mekere’s statement was typical Opposition politics.

O’Neill dismissed the claims as being based on Sir Mekere’s imaginary figures, saying instead that on balance, the State has made around a 100 million Kina from the sale in Oil Search project.

“The State’s investment in Oil Search was the right decision at the time, it helped maintain confidence in the oil and gas sector, but was undermined by unforeseen global factors and baseless political opposition,” he said.

Sir Mekere calls for probe into OSL shares

“We always knew that this illegal deal between the Prime Minister, Oil Search and Union Bank of Switzerland was a bad deal, a bad investment and a bad use of public money,” he said.

“But we never knew it would be this bad.

“The total cost to the people of Papua New Guinea is likely to be more than K1 billion. Prime Minister Peter O’Neill must come clean on the exact costs.”

He said O’Neill must also come clean on whether the sale was caused by his Government’s inability to repay the loan.