Companies in PNG warned not to sit on permits

1:41 pm on 1 March 2017

Papua New Guinea's Minister of Petroleum, Nixon Duban, says licence holders in the petroleum and energy sector cannot warehouse their exploration permits.

Members of PNG's government, including Energy and Petroleum Minister, Nixon Duban (far left) and Prime Minister Peter O'Neill (talking) with PNG Power figures and ExxonMobil PNG Production Manager Andrew Barry.

Nixon Duban Photo: Supplied

The Post Courier says the minister's warning comes amid increased interest from potential investors in the country's hydrocarbon sector.

Warehousing refers to dormant licences held by applicants who do not undertake any exploration or development activities for the duration of the permits.

Mr Duban told the inaugural PNG Petroleum and Energy Summit in Port Moresby that in light of the growing interest in the sector the government has cancelled 50 of 100 permits in the past two years.

He said the revocations free up acreages that others are interested in developing.

Mr Duban said of the 50 that had been revoked, most had re-entered the market under new ownership and in partnerships with companies which had already demonstrated capability and commitment.