Papua New Guinea’s development has been driven by its resource wealth and, while policymakers are focused on long-term diversification, extractive industries still underpin the economy. Since his election, Prime Minister James Marape has made clear his intention to secure greater revenue for the government from future extractive projects, with the aim of nurturing economic growth and investing in human capital development. As such, his first year in office has seen protracted negotiations on major new liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects, including the $13bn Total-led Papua LNG project and the expansion of the P’nyang gas field.
In terms of power, meanwhile, there is political will and international support to help PNG reach its goal of 70% electrification by 2030. However, creativity will be needed to mitigate the challenges presented by the country’s difficult terrain, low population density, complex land rights framework and lack of spending power in rural communities.
This chapter contains an interview with Kieran Wulff, Managing Director, Oil Search.