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Governor for East Sepik Province Allan Bird has asked the Minister responsible for State Enterprises William Duma to come clear on Kumul Petroleum Holdings stand on buying shares from Santos Limited.

Governor Bird said as KPHL is PNG owned, it must always come clear to the house and the people on how it conducts its business as taxpayers have payed significant amount of money for the UBS loan enquiry on how shares have been purchased for the Papua LNG.

Governor Bird said, the Union Bank of Switzerland loan report (UBS) presented on the floor of parliament shows that the tax payers were conned into paying for the shares that Oil Search took out of the Papua LNG and the country paid over a billion dollars for that.

He said now that PNG’s 100 percent owned company Kumul Petroleum Holdings Limited intends to purchase another percentage of the Papua LNG for another 5 billion dollars is a question that needs answers.

Minister responsible for State Enterprises William Duma, in responding to Governor Bird’s questions said, the arrangements made to purchase the 5% equity of Santos is for the LNG project and not equity in the Santos company and there is a difference in that.

Minister Duma said Santos is a privately owned company and can offer the same shares to other partners in the current Papua LNG project.

He said KPHL understands the implications of the UBS loan enquiry as these are commercial arrangements between KPHL and a company that is owned by the public and registered in another country.

In terms of Governor Bird’s other questions on state entity purchasing stolen property, Minister Duma said the government is yet to set up a team which can decide whether to implement the findings on the enquiry or not.

Minister Duma further said, KPHL is required by law to present its investment strategy annually and continues to deliver to the nation.

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