2 May 2013

Claim landowner frustration could shut down huge PNG gas project

3:50 pm on 2 May 2013

A Papua New Guinea NGO which monitors ExxonMobil's LNG project says frustrations in the province where the project's gas fields are centred could boil over in a way similar to the Bougainville conflict.

The Governor of Hela province, Anderson Agiru, recently gave Exxon and the government a 30 day ultimatum to fulfill commitments under the project agreement or face legal action to shut the project down.

Stanley Mamu of LNG Watch says that Hela has seen little of the promised infrastructure and development benefits promised them by the project operator, Esso Highlands.

He warns that people are prepared to take action similar to how Bougainville landowners closed the Panguna Copper mine in 1989.

"The people will disrupt the project because the pipeline has not been connected So that pipeline will never progress and then connect to Hides (PDL) 4. So, Esso Highlands will be another Bougainville Copper Limited."

Stanley Mamu