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Minister for Provincial and Local Level Government Affairs Soroi Eoe, is now the acting Prime Minister for the next two days as Prime Minister and his Deputy John Rosso are out of the country.

Prime Minister James Marape is currently in Singapore to meet with Puma Energy Executives on the ongoing saga with the Bank of Papua New Guinea (BPNG) which continues to threaten the country with energy insecurities.

“I am going to Singapore today with Minister for Petroleum and Energy, Kerenga Kua, to meet Puma Executives about this ongoing saga between BPNG and Puma,” PM Marape said before leaving for Singapore.

“This is so that we do not have energy or fuel insecurity issues going forward into the future”.

“We cannot be held to ransom like this – which recurs every time there is an issue with foreign exchange. I know Central Bank has some regulatory issues with Puma and we want to hear from Puma leadership on why compliance to Central Bank directions are not possible and for us to find a permanent solution”.

“I am also bringing our State Lawyers and we will be informing Puma that we are looking at other options, apart from fixing the relationship between them and BPNG, and finding permanent solutions so our country is not energy-insecure”.

“I will also indicate to Puma that we are reviewing the Napa Napa Refinery Agreement – which gives them a monopoly of fuel supply to Papua New Guinea – and to check if they are in full compliance to all requirements that secured them this present monopoly,” Marape said.

PM Marape added that the Government is now seriously looking at downstream processing of PNG’s oil and gas resources.

“I have signaled our major oil and gas harvesters like Santos, Total Energies and ExxonMobil that the State, through Kumul Petroleum Holdings Ltd and Mineral Resources Development Company, want to move into the downstream processing of our own petroleum products with their partnership and we are looking at the cost of setting up a refinery,” Marape said.

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