13 May 2011

PNG Kutubu blockades lifted

6:07 pm on 13 May 2011

Landowners in the Southern Highlands of Papua New Guinea briefly shut down an airport and access roads last week over a payment dispute with the government and large oil companies.

The Kutubu landowners group told the newspaper, The National, that they are owed money and support grants under an agreement signed in 1990 when the liquified natural gas project started.

A spokesman says the government set a precedent by paying Hides landowners.

Moro Airport, Angogo Ridge and Mubi valve facilities were blocked by the reportedly peaceful protest in an attempt to stall production.

One of the companies involved, Oil Search Limited, says it has a court order to restrain any trespassers.

The Southern Highlands Police Commander's office says the airport and access roads are now open again.