Business News

Day Two of the Australia PNG Business Forum

by Michaeline Moir-Bussy – EM TV News, Cairns

The second day of the 32nd Australia Papua New Guinea Business Forum saw members of the resource sector taking centre stage with Exxon Mobil PNG, PanAust and Kumul Petroleum Holdings all presenting.

Some of the leading topics discussed were current challenges faced, like global commodity prices, and opportunities for PNG within the sector.

Managing Director of Exxon Mobil PNG, Andrew Barry, opened the Newss Update, confirming that the industry is dealing with the challenge of low commodity prices. However, this is not new – oil and gas and LNG trade, he says, will continue to evolve over time. He touched on the current price environment and the long-term expectation for LNG demand.

“Despite the current price environment which may challenge some producers, we certainly believe that natural gas, including liquefied natural gas, has a bright future. That’s because global energy demand will continue to grow. And LNG will play a critical role in meeting the world’s need for energy to fuel development and opportunity.”

Barry also emphasised Exxon Mobil’s commitment to the PNG government to work together on innovative solutions to supply domestic gas to improve the capacity and reliability of Papua New Guinea’s power network.

“We fundamentally believe that one of the greatest multiplier effects for facilitating growth of businesses and improving living standards in the country, lies in power generation.”

General Manager Government and Community of Panaust, Glen Conell, presented on Sepik’s Frieda River project. He described the challenges of the project, one of which is commodity prices.

“The infrastructure that supports the operations has the potential to open up the region to new economic opportunities. And that’s something that we really want to look at in the next little while, is to focus on what potential that infrastructure holds.”

Concluding the session was Chairman of the Kumul Petroleum Holdings Limited (KPHL), Frank Kramer, who shed some light on the business opportunities being considered by KPHL.

KPHL is currently responsible for managing the states’s 16.57 per cent equity in the PNG LNG project, the third largest partner, maximising PNGs equity value in the single largest investment ever made in PNG.

The chairman dedicated his entire 10-minute presentation to women, and says he is impressed in seeing the next generation of Papua New Guinean women involved in forums like this, and encouraged more to step up to the plate.

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