30 Sep 2011

PNG minister unable to confirm Shell's bid to enter Gulf gas project

2:38 pm on 30 September 2011

Papua New Guinea's Minister for Petroleum says he's in no position to confirm a report that Shell is trying to displace Interoil as the license holder for the Elk/Antelope gas resource.

This comes after the government suspended InterOil's Gulf LNG Project amid claims by William Duma that the Canadian company has deviated from the plan in its 2009 agreement with PNG.

Johnny Blades reports

"PNG's Sunday Chronicle has reported that Shell is trying to induce the government to shake InterOil loose of its resource, or become its LNG operator. William Duma says he's only a regulator and that this is a matter for InterOil and PNG's state company Petromin. The Minister's been vocal in criticising InterOil for not engaging a major operator for the project as stipulated in the agreement. He says InterOil is proposing a small scale, fragmented project, far from being a world class venture. However Mr Duma's criticism represents a stark turnaround from February when he hailed InterOil's success in securing reputable international companies to develop the project."