In brief: Papua New Guinea’s Prime Minister talks about Wafi-Golpu and other business stories


Air Niugini announces restrictions to travel to Sydney, Prime Minister Marape says Wafi-Golpu could be expected in December and Twinza Oil gets an ultimatum. The business new you need today.

Wafi-Golpu is a joint venture between Newcrest Mining Limited and Harmony Gold Mining Company Limited. Credit: Wafi-Golpu Joint Venture


From 8 September to 30 October, Air Niugini will cut by 40 per cent the number of passengers the airline may carry to Sydney, Australia. The restriction has been put in place because of the current COVID-19 outbreak in New South Wales and comes after the Australian government set further restrictions on the number of passenger arriving by aircraft in Sydney.

PNG’s national airline announced that some passengers who already have tickets for flights between these dates cannot travel. The airline will contact them assists them in re-booking flights for later dates. (Air Niugini)


The Post-Courier reported that PNG Air has lost almost 90 per cent of its revenue because of the COVID-19 pandemic. PNG Air’s CEO, Stanley Stevens, reportedly said during the 7th PNG Aviation Safety and Security Conference that border closures affected the airlines the most but have been ‘privileged to survived’ operations when the Controller accepted its COVID-19 plans (wearing masks, use of hand sanitiser and social distancing. (Post-Courier)


A partnership between Digicel PNG, MiBank and Water PNG will make it easier for MiBank customers to repay loans and/or contribute to their savings using Digicel’s electronic wallet, CellMoni. The partnership with Water PNG allows customers to easily and conveniently pay their bills using the CellMoni waller. (Post-Courier)


A survey by the Business Council of PNG revealed that businesses have spent almost K1 million on COVID-19 protective equipment and facilities. Douveri Henao, Business Council Executive Director, said that 70 per cent of the cost was on face masks and sanitisers, 21 per cent on testing kits and 11 per cent on building COVID-19 facilities and clinics. Henao reportedly said that business had spent over K70,000 on facemasks and hand sanitisers and over K136,000 on testing kits and ventilators. One hundred and fifty respondents participated in the survey. (Post-Courier)

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The exclusive due diligence period for the proposed merger on Santos and Oil Search has been extended to 13 September, announced Santos yesterday. Oil Search said that after completing the due diligence to satisfaction, ‘the Oil Search board intends to unanimously recommend shareholders vote in favour of the revised proposal, in the absence of a superior proposal and subject to the conclusion of an independent expert that the revised proposal is in the best interest of Oil Search shareholders.’ (The National)


Minister for Petroleum, Kerenga Kua, has said that the merger of Oil Search and Santos should maintain the work that Oil Search has done in PNG after the merger and has been quoted as saying that he has been asked by Prime Minister Marape to ‘monitor the national interest components and consequences of the merger.’ He said, ‘there is nothing we can do about the merger because it is a free market and normal business taking its course.

‘Any resulting entity from the merger must always remember the Oil Search culture that has been benefited Papua New Guineans considerably.’ (The National)


Prime Minister Marape reportedly said that he expects to start Wafi-Golpu by December, once all demands – including royalties, equity, environmental damage and land rate, among others, are resolved satisfactorily. He added: ‘We will work with the investors to get the headline agreements as soon as possible and we will go through the issues through the forums.’ (The National)


PNG has given Twinza Oil a ‘draft confidentiality and non-disclosure agreement’ for them to sign but it has been reported the company so far has refused to sign the document, which ‘must be signed within seven days as of last Friday.’

The Minister for Petroleum, Kerenga Kua, has been quoted as saying that ‘what we have said is bring all decision makers into Papua New Guinea, sit across the table facing the SNT [State Negotiating Team] then they negotiate.’ The National reports that ‘all decision-makers from Twinza must be in Papua New Guinea physically … That has to be achieved by Oct 15.’


Kumul Petroleum has been awarded the Pandora gas field licence. This is the fourth licence awarded to the state-owned entity this year. (Business Advantage PNG)

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