Board Members

Wapu Sonk

Managing Director

Mr. Sonk holds a Bachelor in Mining Engineering from the University of Technology, Lae, Papua New Guinea and a Diploma of Business – Business Management from Melbourne Business School, Mt Eliza Centre for Executive Education, Australia.

He was appointed Managing Director of the National Petroleum Company of PNG in January 2013 and the Managing Director of Kumul Petroleum Holdings Limited in 2015.

He has occupied numerous leadership roles in the Petroleum Industry of PNG since beginning his career with Chevron Niugini Pty Ltd in 1997.

These roles include:

  • Director – PNG LNG Project – IPBC (2012);
  • Chairperson of Society of Petroleum Engineers (PNG Section) (2011);
  • Technical Manager, Kumul Petroleum – Managing a Multi Skilled Team of Geologist & Engineers (2010 – 2011);
  • Drilling & Completions Engineer – Oil Search Head Office – Sydney office, Australia (2007 – 2009);
  • Night Shift Drilling Rig Operations Supervisor (2006 – 2007); and
  • Field Coordinator, PNG to QLD Gas Pipeline Project FEED Team – Manage Multinational team (2005).

Mr Sonk is also a member of the International Association of Drilling Contractors (IADC), Society of Petroleum Engineers (Worldwide), and Institute of Engineers PNG.

Dr. Benedict Yaru


Dr. Yaru holds a PhD (UTS), BSc, MAppSc (PNGUT) MRACI CChem., MASANZ Associate Professor (adj), Institute of Applied Ecology University of Canberra, ACT, Australia.

Dr. Yaru has over 20 years of experience in a variety of challenging positions related to the petroleum and mining sectors in both Operational Management and Consultancy roles.

Dr. Yaru was an Associate Professor (adjunct), at the Institute of Applied Ecology, University of Canberra, ACT, Australia from June 2007 – June 2015.

Dr Yaru acquired his Doctor of Philosophy in Environmental Biology from the University of Technology Sydney and his Masters in Applied Science in Analytical Environmental Chemistry from the University of Technology, Lae.

Dr. Ila Temu


Dr Ila Temu is a founding director of Kumul Petroleum Holdings and brings a wealth of experience in executive management and directorship roles in extractive industries in Papua New Guinea. He is currently the country Executive Director of Barrick (Niugini) Limited, Kina Bank, New Porgera Limited and previously held senior executive roles in Placer Dome in PNG and overseas.

Dr Temu has also held roles including senior lecturer in economics at the University of Papua New Guinea and directorships at the National Research Institute and Bank of South Pacific.

Dr Temu holds a PhD in Agricultural Economics from the University of California, a Master of Agricultural Development Economics from the Australian National University and a Bachelor of Economics from the University of PNG.

Paul Nerau


Paul Nerau has a Law Degree from the University of Papua New Guinea and has over 46 years of experience in legal, corporate and strategic management in government and political circles, private business and industry sectors as well as non-government civil society, community and faith-based groups at international, regional, national and local levels.

Paul was managing director of the Bougainville Development Corporation where he oversaw the growth of that company’s annual revenues from K5 million in 1979 to K37 million in 1989, the onset of the Bougainville crisis. He was PNG’s Consul-General in Brisbane for eight years, has been a director of many organisations including PNGBC, Angco and Air Niugini and was chairman of Kumul Consolidated Holdings.

Hari Karyuliarto


Hari Karyuliarto holds a Bachelor of Law degree from Diponegoro University and a Master’s Degree in Management from Gajah Mada University, Indonesia. He worked for 23 years in a variety of positions with P.T. Pertmina including those of Corporate Secretary and Gas Director and one year as President Director of Nusantara Gas Services in Osaka, Japan.

Hari was vast experience in the negotiation and execution of LNG sales contracts, execution of multi-billion dollar projects such as FSRU, regasification and gas pipeline projects. He is now a Commissioner of PT Jasa Enersi Pratama Nusantara, an advisor/consultant to Osaka Gas, Japan, chairman of Risco Energy Group, Pte., Ltd., Singapore and Commissioner of PT Isargas.

Peterson Pipi


Mr. Peterson Pipi was appointed as a Director by the Kumul Petroleum Trustee to the Kumul Petroleum Holdings Limited Board on 22nd February 2017.

Mr. Pipi hails from Tari in the Hela Province and currently serves as the General Manager of Gigira Development Corporation (GDC), a landowner company of the Hides, Angore and Juha Gas project areas. Mr. Pipi has held the post since February 2011.

Prior to joining GDC, Mr. Pipi worked as the First Secretary to the Minister for Home Affairs and Youth, the late David Unagi from 1996 – 1997. Mr. Pipi also served the Minister for Local Level and Provincial Affairs as First Secretary from 1995 to 1996 and served as Second Secretary to the Minister for Administrative Services from 1992 to 1994.

Mr. Pipi attained a Bachelor of Commerce (BCom) from the University of Papua New Guinea in 1994. He further attained a Diploma in Economic Policy analysis of the National Research Institute of Papua New Guinea in 1995.

Since 2015, Mr. Pipi has served on the following Boards:

  • Director and founder of PNG Hospitality Services Limited (catering company owned by landowners from Hides to Kikori in the oil and gas field)
  • Director and Chairman of Gigira Camp and Catering Services Limited who is the Shareholder Company of PNG Hospitality Services Limited;
  • Director of HUC Limited (company owned by Hela United Church).

Mr. Pipi played a strategic role in 2008, as Team leader for the Angore Landowners Negotiation Team for the successful signing PNGLNG Project Umbrella Benefit Sharing Agreement in Kokopo, East New Britain Province.