MELBOURNE - Papua New Guinea’s new prime minister James Marape has used Oil Search Ltd’s 90th birthday to press the country’s biggest company and its oil major partners to pay more tax.
His comments come as Oil Search and partners Exxon Mobil Corp and Total SA face delays on a $13 billion plan to double liquefied natural gas exports from Papua New Guinea and the new Marape government seeks to win more revenue from resource projects.
Oil Search has long prided itself on the work it does in PNG communities, including funding health care and literacy programs, but Marape said that was not the company’s job.
“So going into the future we will not be asking much of you in terms of community service obligation, but we will be asking you to pay your fair share of tax,” Marape said in a speech in Port Moresby.
“We will be asking of you and others in the industry for a greater participation in ... downstream processing.
“We’ll be asking of you for a clearer, better definition of what local content is,” he said.
Oil Search said in a statement it fully supports Marape’s call for all companies operating in the country to pay their fair share of tax.