Papua New Guinea
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  Location: Papua New Guinea is part of the southwest Pacific group of islands. It covers the eastern half of the island of New Guinea located between the Coral Sea and the South Pacific Ocean, east of Indonesia It shares the island of New Guinea with Indonesia; one of world's largest swamps along southwest coast
  Area: total: 462,840 sq km; land: 452,860 sq km; and water: 9,980 sq km with land boundaries totaling: 820 km with Indonesia. It has a coastline of 5,152 km in length.
Capital: Port Moresby
  Administrative divisions: 20 provinces; Bougainville, Central, Chimbu, Eastern Highlands, East New Britain, East Sepik, Enga, Gulf, Madang, Manus, Milne Bay, Morobe, National Capital, New Ireland, Northern, Sandaun, Southern Highlands, Western, Western Highlands, West New Britain


Climate: tropical; northwest monsoon (December to March), southeast monsoon (May to October); slight seasonal temperature variation

  Terrain: mostly mountains with coastal lowlands and rolling foothills with lowest point at the Pacific Ocean Coast at 0 m and the highest point in Mount Wilhelm at 4,509 m
  Population: 4,926,984 (July 2000 est.)
  Ethnic groups: Melanesian, Papuan, Negrito, Micronesian, Polynesian
  Religions: Roman Catholic, Lutheran, Presbyterian/Methodist/London Missionary Society, Anglican, Evangelical Alliance, Seventh-Day Adventist, other Protestant, indigenous beliefs.
  Languages English spoken by 1%-2%, pidgin English widespread, Motu spoken in Papua region; 715 indigenous languages
  Flag description: divided diagonally from upper hoist-side corner; the upper triangle is red with a soaring yellow bird of paradise centered; the lower triangle is black with five white five-pointed stars of the Southern Cross constellation centered.
  Currency: 1 kina (K) = 100 toea (K) per US$1 - 3.3602 (2001))
  Independence and National Holiday: 16 September 1975 (from the Australian-administered UN trusteeship)
  Government type: parliamentary democracy
  Executive branch: chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952), represented by Governor General Silas ATOPARE (since 13 November 1997); head of government: Prime Minister Mekere MORAUTA (since NA August 1999); Deputy Prime Minister Mao ZEMING (since NA December 1999); cabinet: National Executive Council appointed by the governor general on the recommendation of the prime minister; the monarch is hereditary; governor general appointed by the National Executive Council; prime minister and deputy prime minister appointed by the governor general for up to five years on the basis of majority support in National Parliament.
  Legislative branch: unicameral National Parliament - sometimes referred to as the House of Assembly (109 seats, 89 elected from open electorates and 20 from provincial electorates; members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms);
  Judicial branch: Supreme Court, the chief justice is appointed by the governor general on the proposal of the National Executive Council after consultation with the minister responsible for justice, other judges are appointed by the Judicial and Legal Services Commission.
  International organization participation: ACP, APEC, AsDB, ASEAN (observer), CCOP, CP, ESCAP, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), ISO (correspondent), ITU, NAM, OPCW, Sparteca, SPC, SPF, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WtrO
  Natural resources: gold, copper, silver, oil, natural gas, timber, fisheries
  Land use: arable land: 0.1%; permanent crops: 1%; permanent pastures: 0%; forests and woodland: 92.9%; and other: 6% (1993 est.)
  Natural hazards: active volcanism; situated along the Pacific "Rim of Fire"; the country is subject to frequent and sometimes severe earthquakes; mud slides; tsunamis
  Environment - current issues: rain forest subject to deforestation as a result of growing commercial demand for tropical timber; pollution from mining projects; severe drought
  Environment - international agreements: party to: Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands; signed, but not ratified: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Climate Change - Kyoto Protocol
  Economy - overview :
Papua New Guinea is richly endowed with natural resources, but exploitation has been hampered by the rugged terrain and the high cost of developing infrastructure. Agriculture provides a subsistence livelihood for the bulk of the population. Mineral deposits, including oil, copper, and gold, account for 72% of export earnings. Budgetary support from Australia and development aid under World Bank auspices have helped sustain the economy. In 1995, Port Moresby reached agreement with the IMF and World Bank on a structural adjustment program, of which the first phase was successfully completed in 1996. In 1997, droughts caused by the El Nino weather pattern wreaked havoc on Papua New Guinea's coffee, cocoa, and coconut production, the mainstays of the agricultural-based economy and major sources of export earnings. The coffee crop was slashed by up to 50% in 1997. Despite problems with drought, the year 1998 saw a small recovery in GDP. Growth increased to 3.6% in 1999 and may be even higher in 2000, say 4.3%.
  Industries: copra crushing, palm oil processing, plywood production, wood chip production; mining of gold, silver, and copper; crude oil production; construction, tourism
  Electricity - production: 1.74 billion kWh (1998)
  Electricity - production by source: fossil fuel: 69.54%; hydro: 30.46% (1998)
  Electricity - consumption: 1.618 billion kWh (1998)
  Agriculture - products: coffee, cocoa, coconuts, palm kernels, tea, rubber, sweet potatoes, fruit, vegetables; poultry, pork
  Exports: $1.9 billion (f.o.b., 1999 est.)
  Exports - commodities: oil, gold, copper ore, logs, palm oil, coffee, cocoa, crayfish and prawns
  Imports: $1 billion (f.o.b., 1999 est.)
  Imports - commodities: machinery and transport equipment, manufactured goods, food, fuels, chemicals

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Last Update: 8 August 2002