24 Nov 2008

PNG governent moves to curb Petromin role in gas plans

12:05 pm on 24 November 2008

Papua New Guinea's Government will introduce a bill this week to stop Petromin PNG Holdings Limited from having any participation in the multi-billion kina liquefied natural gas project.

The Post Courier says the bill will give muscle to the government's IPBC or Independent Public Business Corporation to have greater participation in the gas project through amendments to the IPBC Act.

Through the IPBC amendments, a company called Kroton will act as nominee of the State.

Kroton would be a "wholly-owned subsidiary" of the IPBC looking after the State's equity in the project.

It is understood Kroton has three Papua New Guinean directors who will be empowered to assist IPBC and not Petromin.

Early last month, Petromin challenged IPBC through a court directive to transfer the Oil Search shares to Petromin, but that court directive was withdrawn this month.

Petromin was set up by Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare to hold the State's interest in any oil, gas and minerals project.

IPBC is run by the Prime Minister's son, State Enterprises Minister, Arthur Somare.