The downstream processing of oil and gas resources of Papua New Guinea is high on agenda when Prime Minister James Marape meets Puma Energy officials in Singapore.


By PNGSun News

The downstream processing of the country's oil and gas resources is high on agenda when Prime Minister, James Marape meets Puma Energy officials in Singapore.

PM Marape left the shores for Singapore today (Saturday, January 7, 2023) to meet with them on the ongoing saga with Bank of Papua New Guinea (BPNG) which continues to threaten the country with energy insecurities.

He will be accompanied by Minister for Petroleum and Energy Hon. Kerenga Kua and the State Solicitor to discuss this issue which resulted in all Air Niugini flights being cancelled on Thursday this week.

Puma Energy is a Swiss multinational mid- and downstream oil company, majority-owned by Singapore-based Swiss company Trafigura. Its operations span around 40 countries across five continents and encompass the supply, storage, refining, distribution, and retail of a range of petroleum products.

Minister for Inter-Government Relations. Hon. Soroi Eoi, will be acting Prime Minister for the next two days as Deputy Prime Minister Hon. John Rosso is also out of the country.

“I am going to Singapore today with Minister for Petroleum and Energy, Hon. Kerenga Kua, to meet Puma executives about this ongoing saga between BPNG and Puma,” PM Marape said in a media statement before leaving for Singapore.

“This is so that we do not have energy or fuel insecurity issues going forward into the future.

“We cannot be held to ransom like this – which recurs every time there is an issue with foreign exchange. I know Central Bank has some regulatory issues with Puma and we want to hear from Puma leadership on why compliance to Central Bank directions are not possible and for us to find a permanent solution.

“I am also bringing our State Lawyers and we will be informing Puma that we are looking at other options, apart from fixing the relationship between them and BPNG, and finding permanent solutions so our country is not energy-insecure.

“I will also indicate to Puma that we are reviewing the NapaNapa Refinery Agreement – which gives them a monopoly of fuel supply to Papua New Guinea - and to check if they are in full compliance to all requirements that secured them this present monopoly.”

PM Marape also said the Government was now seriously looking at downstream processing of PNG’s oil and gas resources.

“I have signaled our major oil and gas harvesters like Santos , Total Energies and ExxonMobil that the State, through Kumul Petroleum Holdings Ltd and Mineral Resources Development Company, wants to move into the downstream processing of our own petroleum products with their partnership and we are looking at the cost of setting up a refinery.”

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