25 Jan 2011

PNG police sent to troubled LNG site

4:05 pm on 25 January 2011

The police in Papua New Guinea say more police have been deployed to maintain order at one of the LNG project sites following an outbreak of violence last Friday.

The developer of the billion-dollar project, Exxon Mobil is downplaying the incident, saying order was quickly restored after an unknown number of intruders illegally entered a Southern Highlands project camp.

The company says four camp residents were treated for minor injuries at the site.

But police spokesperson David Terry has confirmed more than 200 people were involved in the violence, which is believed to have been sparked by their belief that a young boy had died after consuming a substance from a project site

"The people became agitated, then mobilised and opportunists and other people with criminal intent they turned violent and they tried to attack company employees and properties."

Senior Sergeant David Terry says the situation is now under control with the deployment of more police.

However, Exxon Mobil says it's shut down the Hides Gas Conditioning Plant until the safety and security of project personnel can be assured.