In brief: Santos submits application for Oil Search merger to ICCC and other business stories


The Santos and Oil Search merger reaches the ICCC, PNG DataCo reduces metro wholesale prices by 66 per cent, and Treasurer Ling-Stuckey receives report on the Central Bank Act 2000 review. The business news you need to know.

Hides field

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

State-owned enterprises

PNG Power (PPL) is owed about K30 million in unpaid electricity bills and is in discussions with the government to find ways to settle the debt.  PPL Executive General Manager for Retail Kingston Albert told The National: ‘We’ve given notices to all government departments. We are negotiating with them at the moment. We understand their situation but we also request them to understand our situation as well as our operations need cash.’


Prior to the proposed merger of Oil Search with Santos, the National Court has ordered Oil Search to hold a shareholders meeting on 7 December to consider and vote the proposed scheme (Oil Search shareholders will receive 0.6275 Santos shared for each of their Oil Search shares). (The National)


Meanwhile, the Independent Consumer and Competition Commission (ICCC) has received an authorisation application from Australian energy company Santos seeking approval for its merger with Oil Search. The ICCC is now inviting relevant stakeholders and the general public to submit comments ‘on the likely competition of this proposed merger.’ Comments and submission should be sent before 22 November. (The National)


Mining Minister Johnson Tuke has signed a blanket Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Simon Energy Resource Co. Ltd, an upstream oil and gas subsidiary of the Jaxin Group, one of China’s largest corporations. Tuke reportedly said: ‘As the minister responsible for mining, I am giving my enormous support in working with the investors as long as it is within the guidelines of operating business in PNG by virtues of the law and undertakings we have.’ No specific projects have been mentioned so far. (LOOP PNG)

Story continues after advertisment...


The temporary deterioration of ground conditions and the constraints on travel caused by COVID-19 have delayed the civil works program in preparation for the construction of the carbon-in-leach (CIL) plant work on the Woodlark gold project in Milne Bay Province.

A decision has been taken to defer, until Q1/Q2 of 2022, ‘all non-essential activities on site together with finalisation of the remaining key contracts’. Geopacific Resources‘ Chief Executive Officer, Tim Richards, has said that the company is doing everything possible to ‘minimise the impacts of the delays on the schedule’ (Geopacific Resources)


The National Fisheries Authority (NFA) is working in the development of a tuna terminal in East New Britain Province. The NFA will purchase land owned by the Rabaul Shipping Company to establish the project. The government has given K5 million to support this project. (The National)


Minister of Information and Communication Technology Timothy Masiu has predicted that mobile phone usage in PNG could jump from 2.5 million users to six million in five years because of three factors: the merger of bmobile and Telikom PNG, Vodafone’s arrival to the market and the acquisition of Digicel by Telstra.  (The National)


PNG DataCo has announced price reductions for Metro fibre connectivity services. The unit price per month will be reduced from K145 megabits per second (mbps) per month to K50 mbps – a 66 per cent reduction in whole sale prces that should benefit end-users. ‘We are promoting growth and advocating for huge price reductions offered to retailers who need to pass some of that benefit to their customers.’ (Business Advantage PNG)


Flights to Kavieng Airport have been temporarily suspended. Link PNG said in a statement that flights have been suspended because, after the recent runway upgrade work, there remains loose gravel on the runway – a safety hazard to the aircraft and passengers. Once this has been resolved, Link PNG will resume services. (Post-Courier)


The Independent Advisory Group led by former Chief Secretary to Government Robert Igara has presented its phase one report on the Central Banking Act 2000 review to Treasurer Ian Ling-Stuckey. (Advisory Board)

Leave a Reply