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Pacific Magazine: PNG: Shell Employees Not Happy With Proposed Takeover Of Company

Wednesday: February 8, 2006
Employees of Shell (PNG) Limited are planning industrial action over the proposed takeover of the company’s Papua New Guinea assets by InterOil Corporation.
Employees told the Post Courier that they were not happy with the proposed takeover of the company by Canadian energy company InterOil Corporation.
They gave the management until yesterday to respond to their demands which include a 12-month payout of their entitlements and for Shell to identify a project that it would fund as an appreciation to PNG for doing their business in the country for more than 75 years.
They said if there was no positive response from the management, they would shut down the company’s depots nationwide and tell the 160 national staff not to go to work.
General Manager Shell PNG and Solomon Islands Giles Watkin said yesterday that this was a time of uncertainty for their staff.
“We are in ongoing and regular discussions with our staff on this topic,” Mr Watkin said. “Shell has always acknowledged the importance of its staff to its businesses, both in Papua New Guinea and globally.”
Shell’s major customer Air Niugini would be affected if the proposed industrial action went ahead as it buys jet fuel from Shell depots around the country.
In a move that would make InterOil Corporation a major distributor of petroleum products in the country, InterOil agreed in principle to purchase all assets on Shell in the country.
Royal Dutch Shell announced last year that it had reached an “in principle” agreement for a revised deal structure covering the sale of 100 per cent of its shares in Shell Papua New Guinea Limited to InterOil Products Limited.
The deal was subjected to approval by the ICCC. InterOil Products Limited is a subsidiary of InterOil Corporation involved in the retailing business of the company’s products after it bought the assets of British Petroleum (BP) Limited throughout PNG.
The disposal of Shell PNG assets is part of the business strategy of Royal Dutch Shell to concentrate on their other businesses elsewhere……Post-Courier/PNS

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