July 25, 2019 / 2:03 PM / 3 months ago

Total's CEO says Papua New Guinea government should respect gas deal

PARIS (Reuters) - Total SA Chief Executive Patrick Pouyanne on Thursday urged Papua New Guinea’s government to respect a gas agreement signed in May after the country’s petroleum minister suggested the deal could be modified.

Papua New Guinea’s petroleum minister said earlier that the a deal for the Papua LNG project could be re-drawn if a government review finds its terms unfavorable.

The deal was agreed in April but the former prime minister who signed it was ousted in a parliamentary vote a month later, following a crisis caused by discontent over the distribution of resource riches.

“From my point of view I believe that these types of agreements are signed with countries, so we expect the new government to respect it,” Pouyanne told analysts on a conference call after reporting second quarter results.

“We are confident that it is in the best interest of PNG to respect the agreements that have been signed in order to move forward with the project,” he added.

Reporting by Bate Felix, editing by Deepa Babington

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