Mineral Resources Development Company (MRDC) Managing Director Augustine Mano says landowners need to actively participate across the oil and gas projects to counter any decline in royalties caused by falling oil prices and forex issues.

MD Augustine Mano speaking during the inaugural PNG Petroleum and Energy Summit in Port Moresby.

Currently landowners hold a passive two per cent participating interest in ongoing projects which is little when compared to private oil companies and foreign investors who have been successful in gaining a foothold in Papua New Guinea’s energy sector.

Speaking at the inaugural PNG Petroleum and Energy Summit that was held early April in Port Moresby, Mano said that because of the low commodity prices and ongoing forex issues, royalties paid to landowners will continue to decrease unless there is equitable participation in power generation, pipeline ownership and LNG Shipment.

Having a master plan, he says can bring about equitable participation across the value chain because all stakeholders will engage on a level playing field. It will also enable landowners and the provincial governments to properly plan and even increase their investments and interests in oil and gas projects in the country.

In fact, as landowners, Mano says their participation in the value chain should be across the board by owning and managing more elements of the value chain.

“Apart from the power sector, we will aim for full and direct ownership of gas supply and power plants like taking the ownership of the LNG shipping which is currently owned by foreign interests,” Mano said.

These are but some of MRDC’s focus as it works hard to grow landowners’ wealth with the objective to make them self-reliant.

“We do this by investing today’s resources for tomorrow’s generations on behalf of the landowners and the provincial governments,” he said.

PNG Prime Minister Peter O’neil having a chat with MRDC External Affairs GM Imbi Tagune at MRDC both during the inaugural PNG Petroleum and Energy Summit in Port Moresby. For further details of the PNG Petroleum and Energy Summit, please visit: http://www.pngsummit.com