Showing posts with the label SOMARE

Part 2 – Sweetheart deals cost taxpayers and landowners

THE TRUE STORY OF THE UBS LOAN AND OTHER DEALS BETWEEN THE O’NEILL GOVERNMENT AND OIL SEARCH Part 2 – Sweetheart  deals cost taxpayers and landowners BY A SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT IN SINGAPORE Comments by Oil Search executives and directors at the company’s annual general meeting earlier this year raise serious concerns about its knowledge of many specific instances of corruption in Papua New Guinea relating to its business, and its corporate behaviour. These instances are separate to the illegal UBS Loan which Oil Search helped to arrange, as detailed in Part 1 How Peter O’Neill and Peter Botten cost Papua New Guinea at least K1 billion. Some of these issues were the subject of questions in in the Australian Senate, but no satisfactory answers were provided by the Australian officials responsible. For example landowners in the PNG LNG project are owed hundreds of millions of kina in royalty payments and other entitlements, much of which is paid to the Government by Oil Se

Simple Facts on the UBS Loan Arrangement

by DAVID LEPI Whilst the recent Oil Search share offloading by the government is attracting a vast array of discussions that are now gaining momentum by the day and the Prime Minister said to make public the facts surrounding the share sales perhaps it might be good we go back where all things started and take a look at the chronology of events. IPIC Loan It started in 2009 from what is known as the largest investment decision ever made by any PNG government. The Somare led government was investing in the 11 billion Exon-Mobil led LNG project in taking up equity of 16.8 percent by borrowing 1.68 billion Australian dollars from a little-known fund called International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC) in the Middle Eastern oil state of Abu Dhabi. This took place at a time when the economy was feeling the global credit crunch and a dramatic drop in commodities prices that had made finding funds for new resource projects very uncertain. Arthur Somare, the then state enterprise m

EXCLUSIVE: THE TRUE STORY OF THE UBS LOAN: How Peter O’Neill and Peter Botten cost Papua New Guinea at least K1 billion

BY A SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT IN SINGAPORE Part 1 – How Peter O’Neill and Peter Botten cost Papua New Guinea at least K1 billion The Oil Search Annual General Meeting in Port Moresby earlier this year confirmed that the company is acutely aware of the extent of corruption in the Papua New Guinea government of Peter O’Neill. Oil Search executives privately commented to attendees after the AGM closed that "... everything here in PNG is corrupt …" “… the government is so corrupt …”, "… PNG has a lot of corruption issues …" and others in similar vein. The cost of O’Neill Government corruption is high, estimated to be several billion kina a year. Now the contribution of Oil Search’s own questionable dealings with the O’Neill Government has come under public scrutiny. Late last month stockmarket trading announcements revealed that the nation has lost at least K1 billion in an illegal sweetheart deal organised in secret between Prime Minister O’Neill and O

PNGSDP willing to help finance LNG landowner equity

MEDIA RELEASE The chairman of PNG Sustainable Development Program Ltd, Sir Mekere Morauta, said today the company is willing to help provide debt finance to enable wellhead and facilities landowners buy equity in the PNG LNG Project. He said PNGSDP is happy to participate as the PNG-based member of a consortium of overseas financiers to provide a facility totaling K725 million (US$230 million) to allow the landowners to pay the State for their 4.27 per cent interest that was agreed under the Umbrella Benefit Sharing Agreement (UBSA) reached in 2009 between the Somare Government and the landowners. The wellhead and facilities landowners included in the equity holding cover groups within the PNG LNG project footprint from Western, Hela, Southern Highlands, Gulf and Central Provinces. PNGSDP was set up to hold shares in Ok Tedi Mining Ltd for the benefit of the people of Western Province and Papua New Guinea. Since the expropriation of its shares by the Government, it does not receive


by  M.V LASIA PNG has recently made the headlines across the globe for being in a financial debt crisis and struggling to pay its debts and expenses. It is no secret the O'Neill Government has had cash-flow crisis and only managing to keep its head above water. What little tax income it earns each month is being used to ensure public servants are paid every fortnight and any difference is directed to propping up its free education policy and partly pay for its inflated contracts. Meanwhile Peter O'Neill claims the country's financial crisis has been caused by dramatic fall in world commodity prices placing a strain on economies around the world. So is Peter O'Neill telling the truth? Short answer is No.  The PNG Government funds its operations, development projects and services its debt obligations through the collection of taxes and overseas grants (donor funding). Tax collection or revenue is categorized into three main parts. 1) Tax on Income and Profit

Desperate PM looking for cash by selling Ok Tedi, Star Mountains Plaza and Apec Haus to foreigners

Former Prime Minister Sir Mekere Morauta said reported attempts by the Prime Minister to secretly sell valuable public assets to foreign interests, if true, are a sign of his desperation for cash to save his sinking ship. “Ad hoc decision-making like this, not as part of a comprehensive package of rescue measures, will make the nation’s problems worse and reduce the options for properly considered reconstruction in the future.” “We are virtually in the caretaker government period, at which point no significant decisions should be made, especially decisions that rob shareholders and landowners of their rights and the general public of their assets.” Sir Mekere said he had been given reliable information on three asset sales that are allegedly being negotiated behind closed doors – of the State’s 67% share in Ok Tedi Mining Ltd, the State’s 20% share in the Star Mountains Plaza hotel and 100% of APEC Haus. These sales involve very valuable assets, and the risk of selling them