Thursday, May 31, 2012

Duma clears InterOil status on LNG project

By MALUM NALU


PETROLEUM and Energy Minister William Duma says the government did not direct Chevron to work with InterOil on developing the Gulf LNG project.
He said this yesterday (Wednesday) when asked to comment on a report in The National that Chevron was returning to PNG to partner with InterOil in developing the Gulf LNG project.
Chevron representatives were reported to have met with Treasurer Don Polye on Tuesday.
Duma said he neither met Chevron officials nor had a seen a project proposal from the company.
Chevron Niugini was the company that developed the Kutubu oil fields before selling to Oil Search in 1992.
Polye said Chevron’s comeback to partner to develop the second-largest LNG project in PNG was a positive assurance of investor confidence.
He said it was the government’s decision as per the Gulf LNG Agreement of 2009 that renowned or credible investors partner InterOil.
“I know (Don) Polye only encouraged Cheron to invest here,” Duma said.
“He did not direct or agree to Chevron working with InterOil.
“That is a commercial decision for InterOil.
“Also, in my case as Petroleum Minister, I can only invite and encourage any major oil company, whether it is Chevron, Shell or BP, to invest here and have a partnership with InterOil.”
Duma also said that Chevron could meet with any senior minister.
“I don’t think you should read much into what he (Polye) may or may not have said,” Duma said.

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