In brief: Oil Search announces structural changes and other business stories


Oil Search shrinks its employee base, Coca-Cola Amatil PNG invests K155 million in infrastructure upgrades and bmobile and Telikom’s merger expected later this year. The news you need to kickstart your week.

Hides field

Hides is one of the seven fields associated to the PNG LNG project. Credit: Oil Search


Oil Search says it has reduced its number of full time employees from 1,649 (14 March 2020) to 1,222, with 137 people to transition out by the end of the year.

Oil Search’s Managing Director Keiran Wulff said: ‘The painful decision we have taken to optimise our organisational structure, enhance efficiencies and reduce operating costs have not been made lightly. They are the result of extensive studies aimed at ensuring we have an organisational structure that not only makes us more resilient to oil and gas prices fluctuations but also embeds a culture of continuous improvement.’

The company also announced changes to its leadership team, including the appointment of Leon Buskens as PNG Country Manager. (Oil Search)


Minister for Agriculture John Simon has committed K1.1 million to cocoa development in the Sumkar and Middle Ramu districts of Madang Province. After a sharp decline in production because of the cocoa pod borer outbreak of 2008, PNG exported 33,000 tonnes in 2015 and ‘production has increased in the past five years to over 40,000 tonnes.’ (The National)


The National Agriculture and Quarantine Inspection Authority with assistance from the Papua New Guinea-Australia Partnership has developed material to raise awareness about the fall armyworm (FAW), a moth that destroys crops such as corn, sugar cane, sweet potato, cabbage and sorghum, among others. The FAW was detected in Western Province. Plans on FAW containment and eradication are being developed. (The National)

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East Sepik leaders have raised concerns about the environmental impact of the Kumul Submarine Cable but last week Paul Komboi, Chief Executive at PNG DataCo, explained to The National that ‘there is no environmental effects of the submarine cable so we will not make it an issue. If people have proof then lodge a formal complaint with appropriate authorities and we can deal with it.’


Bmobile airport

Detail of Bmobile’s ad at Jacksons International Airport. Credit: BAI

Reuben Kautu, Kumul Telikom Holdings Acting Chairman, has announced that the merger of bmobile and Telikom into a single retail operator is expected in December this year, or in early 2021. The merger process began in 2018. ‘If everything goes as planned, we are expecting the technical and commercial merger to be completed by December this year,’ said Kautu. (The National)


Coca-Cola Amatil PNG is investing K155 million to upgrade its infrastructure in Lae, Morobe Province. The facilities will have, among other structures, a new canning line warehouse and ‘Coca-Cola Amatil PNG’s sales depot including marketing and logistic offices and cold drink equipment services office and workshop. (Post-Courier)

Foreign investment

After last week’s SME Breakfast in which Marape said that foreign investors would have to pay K20 million into the Bank of PNG if they wanted to do business in the country, the President of the Chamber of Commerce, John Leahy, said: ‘Local businesses already have a competitive advantage just by being here, so if they are unable to compete effectively that must be for other reasons and making it harder for other people just impedes development and adds to costs for everyone, including local businesses.’ (The National)


National Planning

Credit: Department of Prime Minister & NEC

During the launch of the Department of National Planning’s Corporate Plan 2020-2024, Prime Minister Marape urged government departments to have ‘a vibrant corporate plan’ and called for the inclusion of the Government’s Connect PNG Vision. Marape said: ‘The Department, as the country’s number one planner, must include government policy and reform agendas in your planning and corporate plans. The reason is simple; you will guide the country’s development aspirations, monitor and report how public monies and resources are spent on major government projects and reforms. A good plan and monies spent according to those plans will ensure services reach our unreached people.’ (Department of Prime Minister & NEC)


Last week, the MP for Huon Gulf District, Ross Seymour, and representatives from the National Fisheries Authority (NFA) launched a fisheries jetty and market project for Sappa village. According to a statement, the project, including those at Finschhafen, Tewae-Siassi and other locations in Morobe Province, are being designed to link to the NFA’s proposed fisheries hub in Voco Point, Lae, which is being considered as a consolidation point for distribution. (NFA)


Last week, RNZ reported that part of PNG’s National Court in Port Moresby would be closed for a week because a woman who tested positive for COVID-19 visited the court house. Court officials who came in contact with the person are being tested. (RNZ)

Photograph of the week

Credit: BSP

On Thursday 2 July, BSP launched its Black Thursdays Campaign to help raise awareness of family, sexual and gender based violence. BSP staff will wear black every Thursday as part of the campaign. General Manager Nuni Kulu said: ‘I stand in support of #BlackThursdays to be a change agent to stop GBV (gender-based violence) because it is the right thing to do. We all are responsible for the change starting at home and as professionals and as responsible corporate citizens.’

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