THE PNG Chamber of Mines and Petroleum has welcomed comments by the Government that it is considering transforming the Department of Petroleum and Energy (DPE) into an authority – along similar lines to the successful Mineral Resources Authority (MRA).

Chamber President Gerea Aopi said the industry welcomed the recent comments by Petroleum and Energy Minister Nixon Duban; that the DPE transformation is on the government agenda.

Mr Aopi said the Chamber and the industry stands ready to collaborate with the government to work through this initiative, to bring it to fruition.

Mr Duban has been as stating that there has been budgetary allocation for the creation of a petroleum authority by the government in the 2017 budget.

However, with the looming National Election; there is a concern the decision may not happen until after the election.

“This year would be a good year for that particular transformation to happen,’’ Minister Duban was quoted as saying.

Mr Aopi said PNG holds world class petroleum assets and what was required was an effectively functioning agency that managed these assets for the people of PNG.

“We at the Chamber stand ready to collaborate with the Government to bring this initiative to fruition,’’ Mr Aopi said.

“The government has already set the pace with the establishment of the Mineral Resources Authority and we would like to follow that pathway for the Department responsible for our industry as well,’’ Mr Aopi said.