In brief: Oil Search still keen on P’nyang gas project and other business stories


Oil Search still pursuing talks on P’nyang, Newcrest distances itself from Porgera, and Papua New Guinea’s COVID bond over-subscribed. The business news you need to kickstart your week.

Credit: Prime Minister’s Office & NEC/Facebook


At Oil Search‘s annual general meeting last Friday, Chairman Rick Lee advised shareholders that the company was still helping to facilitate informal discussions regarding the P’nyang gas project, following the suspension of formal negotiations in late January. ‘These informal discussions are ongoing, and we remain very committed as a Joint Venture partner to reaching an equitable solution with the State,’ he said.

Further to recent job and expenditure cuts and a successful capital-raising exercise in April, Managing Director Dr Keiran Wulff also flagged the company was close to completing its 2020 Strategic Review, which would identify ‘opportunities to reduce costs and improve productivity within our operated fields without compromising production, reliability and, most importantly, safety.’ (Oil Search)


Last week, Newcrest Mining, the operator of PNG’s Lihir mine, published a market release addressing the government’s decision to not renew Porgera’s special mining lease. In it the company says: ‘Newcrest confirms that there has been no impact on its operations or activities in Papua New Guinea as a result of the Porgera decision. Newcrest continues to have a good working relationship with the Papua New Guinea Government.’ Lihir’s special mining lease is not due for renewal until 2035. (Newcrest)


After halting operations for 48 hours last week because of road closures, K92 Mining’s Kainantu gold mine in Eastern Highlands Province is back in operations. (Post-Courier)

Story continues after advertisment...

Telecommunications & infrastructure

Credit: PNGDataCO/Linkedin

The Kumul Submarine Cable has landed in Kavieng, New Ireland Province. (PNG DataCo)


Credit: Australian High Commission PNG

Last week, Minister for State Enterprises Sasindran Muthuvel meet with the Australian High Commissioner to PNG, Jon Philp, and with PNG Electrification Partnership Ambassadors from the United States, New Zealand and Japan to discuss the multimillion project. This initiative could help PNG reach its goal of connecting 70 per cent of its population to electricity by 2030. (Australian High Commission PNG)

Banking & finance

Papua New Guinea’s sovereign credit rating was downgraded from B to B- in Standard & Poor (S&P) Global Ratings: the outlook, however, remains stable. The agency’s move reflects the view that the COVID-19 pandemic could weaken PNG’s economic growth. S&P forecasts that PNG’s net debt is set to reach 38 per cent of GDP in 2020 and 42 per cent in 2023. (S&P Global)


The Bank of PNG has announced the results of its inscribed stocks (COVID bond) auction, which was oversubscribed by K80.29 million. (Bank of PNG)


In partnership with Bank South Pacific (BSP), Certified Practising Accountants PNG (CPA PNG) has completed security tests to launch an e-commerce page on its website. CPA PNG’s Internet Payment Gateway (IPG) will be operational this year, allowing customers to renew memberships and/register for conferences or examinations. (Post-Courier)


Bank South Pacific’s stockbroking business, BSP Capital, has been restructured and JMP Securities Ltd, a subsidiary of Pertusio Capital, will take over ‘from the end of the month’, reports The National.


New Britain Palm Oil (NBPOL), considered the largest employer in PNG after the government, has announced a grant to support the COVID-19 pandemic response in the country. It will allocate funds to the provinces where NBPOL has a presence (Milne Bay, Oro, Morobe, West New Britain and New Ireland) to buy personal protective equipment and medical kits for frontline workers. (Post-Courier)


Credit: Australian High Commission PNG/Facebook

Queen Emma Chocolate’s producer, Paradise Foods Ltd, has partnered with the Pacific Horticultural and Agricultural Market Access (PHAMA) Plus Program to improve cocoa quality, supply and production. (The National)


The Marape-Steven government has signed a K3 million agreement to help village producers receive income. The produce will be shipped from Lae to the National Capital District and, if there is demand, to other ports. ‘This is a state of emergency (SOE) intervention as part of the Marape-Steven government’s economic stimulus package to ensure cash income generation at the village producers level, among buying and transport agents, and to supply fresh produce and vegetables from the easily accessible Lae port,’ Sam Basil, Minister for National Planning and Monitoring, reportedly said. (The National)


The Yangoru-Saussia District Development Authority plans to launch the agribusiness Ninere Agro Industries Limited in June to export PNG cocoa and vanilla to overseas markets. (LOOP PNG)


The Prime Minister of the Solomon Islands has announced a US$37.5 million (K128.8 million) stimulus package to address the unprecedented economic and social situation brought upon the COVID-19 pandemic. (RNZ)


Photograph of the week

Credit: Prime Minister Office & NEC/Facebook

PNG’s 8th Prime Minister, James Marape, on behalf of the Sapotim Wantok Foundation, received 20 tonnes of fresh produce and vegetables from the Central Provincial Government. The fresh food was handed to Powes Parkop, NCD Governor, for distribution in the city.

Leave a Reply