By Leanne Jorari – EMTV News, Port Moresby
Oil Search Limited board of directors and shareholders held their annual general meeting on Friday May 11, 2018 in Port Moresby .
The devastating earthquake in February and the many consequent after-shocks slowed business down for a while, however according to the board, the company is steadily recovering and cash flows are strong from healthy oil and gas prices. It was revealed at the meeting that Oil Search’s net profit in 2017, after tax, was 302 million US dollars, more than 3 times higher than 2016 levels, reflecting the highest oil and gas production in Oil Search’s history.
The company’s board also addressed recent reports about the benefits or, lack thereof, generated by the PNG LNG project, stating that since it came on-stream, some K14 billion was contributed to the government and local businesses through employment taxes, development levies, royalties and license maintenance fees and so forth.
In addressing recent questions raised about the project’s failure to identify landowners, and effectively disburse royalty payments, the company stated that at the moment, K708 million is held in trust waiting for final landowner identification determination and while 12 out of 15 licences either receiving or close to receiving benefits, the remaining 3 licenses is subject to resolution of various court orders.