by Meriba Tulo – EM TV, Port Moresby
The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) arbitration panel has ruled that multi-national gas and petroleum company, Total is a party to the Petroleum Retention Licence – PRL 15 – in Gulf Province.
This paves the way for Total to participate in the development of the Elk-Antelope gas field.
The decision of the arbitration panel was handed down yesterday.
The arbitration proceedings had been initiated by Oil Search Limited late in 2014 in response to InterOil’s decision to sell a stake in the Elk-Antelope gas field development to Total in March last year.
Oil Search – who hold a 22.8 per cent stake in the project, had argued that there should have been pre-emptive rights in acquiring the stake sold by InterOil, thus taking the matter to the ICC.
In a complex, non-unanimous, judgment, the ICC decision declared that Total is a party to the Elk-Antelope Joint Venture Operating Agreement (JOA), but it also declared that Total has no rights in PRL 15 or in the Elk-Antelope JOA unless and until InterOil and Total comply with relevant transfer clauses within the JOA.
In a media release to the market, Oil Search said it anticipates that InterOil and Total will attempt to comply with these terms and the company intends to work constructively with its joint venture partners to resolve all outstanding transfer and joint venture management issues.