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ExxonMobil's License on PNG's P'NYANG PRL13 Still Legal : Kua

The Papua New Guinea Minister for Petroleum says the Petroleum License Retention or P-R-L held by ExxonMobil is still legal.

This follows questions from members of parliament in the recent parliament sitting about whether or not ExxonMobil has a valid P-R-L over the P’nyang Gas Resource.

ExxonMobil License on P'NYANG PRL13 in PNG Still Legal : Kua 

Minister Kerenga Kua in a statement recently says the negotiation for a Gas Agreement is underway between the Government and ExxonMobil for the commercialization of the resource.

The question was put specifically by the Member for North-Fly, James Donald in parliament recently.

And, a handful of lawyers confirmed that there is a valid license over the resource held by ExxonMobil.

Minister Kua says ExxonMobil has properly lodged an Application for a Petroleum Development License or A-P-D-L during the life of the third and final 5-year term of the Petroleum License Retention on P’nyang and has since it entered into negotiations with the State.

He says there is no prescribed time limit within which such negotiations may be concluded so whilst the negotiations are continuing the deeming extension of the PRL held by ExxonMobil continuous until the day Petroleum Advisory Board convenes and makes a final determination on the fate of the Application.

This, Mr. Kua says it is the process as stipulated under the provisions of the Oil and Gas Act.

Minister Kua says there have also been concerns raised that the APDL lodged by ExxonMobil was seriously deficient.

He says there is now law that says that an APDL is invalid by virtue of any shortfall in the information supplied upon the lodgment of the Application.

The Minister for Petroleum says the Application for a Petroleum Development License is a life document and is continuously built upon and developed until the point in time when a Gas Agreement is signed, FEED stage is reached and the Board has sat to determine it. 

Before that, Minister Kua says it would be speculative to assert that the Application is deficient and therefore illegal.

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