By JEFFREY ELAPA
FORMER Petroleum and Energy Minister Francis Potape has welcomed the government's decision to shelve the InterOil-proposed Gulf LNG project, The National reports.
He thanked his successor William Duma and secretary Rendel Rumua for coming to their senses and shelving the project after InterOil failed to honour the original agreement signed in 2009.
The agreement was that InterOil would buy crude oil from Kutubu, refine it and supply petroleum products to the domestic market.
Instead, it was buying refined petroleum products from overseas.
It was also discovered that InterOil had deviated from an agreement to build an InterOil LNG project alongside the NapaNapa oil refinery.
It instead opted for a different production method, a mini land-based trains and a fixed floating LNG plant.
Potape, a minister in the previous government, had raised the issue during a ministerial forum this year.
He had warned the executives of InterOil that the government would not allow companies with an unproven track record to operate a world-class LNG project with unproven technology.
"I told InterOil that the government will not allow any unproven technology to be tested in PNG because PNG was not a guinea pig for international companies to test new technologies.
"My successor has now realised it and I commend him," he said.
He warned them to work within the agreement and not do things their own way because the government would not allow it.
Potape said Duma and Rimua had now realised the problem after sitting on it since 2009 when the agreement was signed.
"I think they have awoken from their sleep and have now realised the problem after I raised it with their executives during my term as the minister," he said.