Papua New Guinea
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Concerns grow over declining fuel stocks

Puma’s access to banking services remains constrained, in contravention of PNG government’s Declaration of Emergency by BSP Financial Group.

Puma Energy PNG chairman and managing director Hulala Tokome said Puma, together with the relevant government authorities, have been working throughout the weekend to urgently find a way forward in resolving the current outstanding issues.

Due to this ongoing fuel issues between Puma and other concerned stakeholders Air Niugini had to cancel all its domestic flights on Friday morning.

Air Niugini acting chief executive officer Gary Seddon said due to fuel restrictions by Puma, Air Niugini had to cancel almost 50 flights on Friday morning and resumed all flights on Friday afternoon.

Mr Tokome thanked the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister for their intervention and for encouraging all parties to work together in resolving the ongoing and outstanding issues.

“We have in good faith reinstated fuel supply and lifted our rationing activities until tomorrow, Tuesday. It is imperative that we find an immediate solution, while we continue to work on a longer term and more sustainable way forward.

“That said, it is important that we reach this solution by Tuesday as we cannot be comfortable to continue to draw down on emergency fuel reserves.

“We trust that the BPNG and BSP will also meet the commitments outlined in the Declaration of Emergency and ensure there are no impediments to ensuring security of supply for our community,” Mr Tokome said.

He said while their dialogue with BPNG is progressing positively, and they continue to work together to iron out the details, they have yet to receive any positive signs of BSP complying with the Directives issued by the Government.

“As we have said before, our hands are tied and we are growing more concerned with every day that passes.

As of today, we don’t have any clarity or assurances from BSP that our access to banking and financial services will remain uninterrupted.

“We have had no explanation of the issues restricting our access to financial services, despite urging BSP to come forward with a way to remedy any outstanding matters.

“Puma Energy is a company that banks with the largest international banks across over 30 countries in the world. We have a positive and longstanding relationship with these banks that is underpinned by trust and transparency.

We are therefore baffled by BSP and their unwillingness to work together, address any matters of concern and remedy the current situation that is putting the community at risk,” Mr Tokome said.