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We will rise up from the ruins: PNG PM

Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O’Neill is confident PNG will recover from the recent earthquake that rattled the gas industry, the country’s major earner.

The country should do a turnaround, he said, adding that work with ExxonMobil was ongoing in order to restart productions as soon as possible.

O’Neill told the participants at the second petroleum and energy summit underway in Port Moresby that PNG would no doubt recover and further promote the gas industry.

He also gave an update on the earthquake but could not confirm the death toll, adding that it stood at 150 and was increasing.

O’Neill thanked the private sector and donor agencies, overseas governments; China, Australia, New Zealand, Asian Development Bank and World Bank for their support in relief efforts.

He particularly thanked Oil Search for its swift and effective action in demonstrating commitment in providing substantial funds and relief supplies to affected areas. He also acknowledged ExxonMobil for its contributions in relief efforts. He said the government had advanced plans for future resources sector particularly oil and gas sector that needed to be turned that into real growth and development.

“We are aware that we are at the tip of the iceberg in the industry. There is a lot more to discover in the oil and gas potential,” he said. He said with the upstreaming in energy prices, it was time to invest and ensure the next projects in this sector are developed on a timely basis.

O’Neill said PNG has strong potential in offshore waters. “We are on the verge of significant discoveries in the waters of Australia and PNG. The Government is encouraging greater investments in Gulf of Papua and the Bismarck Sea,” he said.

O’Neill also encouraged investors to consider PNG’s long-term political stability.

He said in the last government during global financial crisis, PNG was able to conclude negotiations on the PNG LNG Project with partners ExxonMobil were able deliver the project. It has provided stimulation of jobs and advanced the SME sector.

He is encouraged with current negotiations with Total and other partners to deliver Papua LNG. “I have no doubt we will deliver this on a timely basis,” he said.


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