In brief: Oil and Gas Act to be amended and other business stories


Changes to the Oil and Gas Act, Prime Minister James Marape has announced that he wants to get the Wafi-Golpu gold mine ‘operational at the soonest’, and opposition leader Patrick Pruaitch has presented a case to challenge Marape’s election as prime minister. Your weekly digest of business news.

Kerenga Kua, Minister for Petroleum

After greenlighting the Papua LNG project, Prime Minister Marape and the Minister for Petroleum, Kerenga Kua, gave a press conference in which Marape reportedly said there will be ‘some landmark decisions in as far as the Oil and Gas Act and other resource harvest are concerned especially mining.’

Kua mentioned that the agreement has paved the way for Papua New Guineans to see ‘increased National Content,’ which he deems to be ‘substantial gains’.

The Post-Courier has reported that the National Executive Council (NEC) has instructed the Ministers for Mining and Petroleum to rewrite the laws to move ‘into a system based on production arrangements (PSA).’ This type of arrangement will help the State reduce loans and create ‘early free cash flows in all future mining and petroleum projects.’


Prime Minister Marape announced during a press conference that his government is already in discussions with the Morobe provincial government to resolve any issues and get the Wafi-Golpu gold mine going.

‘Those issues will be brought to conclusion and, as a whole of government, we will sit as one and we will go into discussions with both Harmony and Newcrest—so that is one other project that is looming in the horizon.’ (Post-Courier)

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James Marape’s election as Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea is set to be challenged on 20 September. Opposition leader Patrick Pruaitch has said that the nomination process wasn’t properly handled and has suggested that his election is invalid.

Pruaitch’s lawyer, Phillip Tabuchi, reportedly said: ‘The court declared yesterday that Pruaitch has standing to bring such constitutional challenge and, given the urgency of the matter, we asked the court to have the matter fixed as a special fixture for hearing.’ (Reuters)


A date has been announced for transferring ANZ bank’s retail, commercial and small-to-medium enterprises businesses to Kina Bank. The migration will take place on 23 September, and it will mark the completion of Kina Bank’s purchase of ANZ’s retail, commercial and SME banking business. (The National)


City Pharmacy Limited (CPL) has opened another Jack’s store in Papua New Guinea. The fifth Jack’s store is in Morobe Haus, Top Town in Lae. (The National)


Air Niugini has begun operating its new non-stop flight between PNG and Fiji. The flight is just over 4.5 hours and, according to the Post-Courier, is the ‘fastest route between Papua New Guinea and Fiji.’ (Post-Courier)


ExxonMobil (PNG) has won the Security, Safety, Health and Environment Performance and Perseverance Award for 2018. The award is presented annually by ExxonMobil’s global Upstream Operations to recognise the efforts of its affiliates around the world. (Post-Courier)


Vanuatu has increased its minimum wage to US$1.59 dollars (K5.36) per hour, a 10 per cent rise. (RNZ)


Oil Search Ltd is expanding its operations in Alaska and has hired Joe Balash, who used to work as the US Interior Department’s Assistant Secretary for Land and Mineral Management, as its Senior Vice-President for External Affairs for its Alaska operations. (Reuters)


Video of the week

Gulf Governor Chris Haiveta raised concerns last week in Parliament about government cheques bouncing. This is what Finance Minister Charles Abel had to say about the cheques (courtesy of EMTV):

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