ICCC Clears Kumul Petroleum Holdings Limited to Acquire Interest in the PNG LNG Project
By Tara Vele
The Independent Consumer and Competition Commission (ICCC) of PNG has given Kumul Petroleum Holdings Limited (KPHL) clearance to acquire up to a 5% interest in the PNG LNG Project from Santos Limited. ICCC Commissioner and Chief Executive Officer, Mr Paulus Ain said in a media release (dated 12 December 2023), the ICCC made this decision following its assessment and considers that the proposed transaction will not affect competition or change the competitive dynamics of the market structure in any related market in PNG.
Commissioner Ain said, “the ICCC was satisfied that the Proposed Acquisition of up to a 5% interest in the PNG LNG Project from Santos by KPHL would not have, or would not be likely to have, the effect of substantially lessening competition in any market (s) in PNG.
The proposed transaction is just a transfer of project interests in the PNG LNG Project between two existing JV partners with non-operatorship interests that will have no impact on competition locally or globally in any way.
The proposed acquisition would increase KPHL’s interest in the PNG LNG Project to 21.8% thereby increasing PNG’s interest in the PNG LNG Project which would achieve the objective of ensuring the people of PNG benefit more through greater equity interest in the development of their natural resources.
While the additional 5% is a positive investment, the ICCC considered that it does not give additional control or influence over the operation of the PNG LNG Project and its related markets or any markets in PNG.”