Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Petroleum minister rejects 'guinea pig' operations



THE government will not accept petroleum companies which have no proven records to operate in the country, The National reports.

Petroleum and Energy Minister Francis Potape said, after the ministerial review forum held at the Institute of Public Administration last Friday, he would also ban companies wanting to use technology not internationally-proven and accepted.

“PNG is not a guinea pig where technology can be tested,” he said.

“We will not allow technology that has not been accepted and that has not been internationally practised and approved.

“Any companies that want to develop petroleum projects in the country must also use and apply technology that is proven and satisfied internationally because PNG government will not entertain companies testing new technologies here.”

He said if companies such as InterOil wanted to test a floating LNG facility, then they should go elsewhere because such technology had never been practised anywhere in the world.

Potape, who has a master’s degree in engineering, said such technology would not be tested in PNG.

He said the proposed Antelope LNG project was questionable as they did not have a proven track record in the petroleum industry.

However, he said if the company wanted to operate a gas project, they should look for other partners with experience in the industry with a record of operating world-class projects.

“If InterOil wants to develop the Antelope project, it has to look for a world class partner to operate so that it can develop both the upstream and midstream facilities here in the country,” he said.

“This also applies to new and interested companies that want to develop petroleum projects in the country.”

Potape said he had spoken to the directors of InterOil in Singapore last week and informed them of the government’s expectations.


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  2. Anonymous4:48 AM

    Hello. Since these remarks are factually incorrect, in contradiction with government policy, in contradiction with Petromin policy (which is pursuing its own FLNG) and even his own statements that he was fast-tracking Interoil's projects as recently as three weeks ago, do you have any reason why Mr. Potake said what he said?
    Thank you in advance