13 May 2013

Hela province urges PNG govt action on LNG commitments

6:34 pm on 13 May 2013

Demands by Papua New Guinea's Hela province over commitments made by developer and state in the country's massive LNG Project have driven both parties to talks with provincial leaders.

The Hela Governor, Anderson Agiru, last month issued a 30-day ultimatum to the government and the developer, ExxonMobil, to fulfill contractual obligations in the province or face legal action to shut the gas project down.

Subsequent talks with Exxon appear to have satisfied Mr Agiru's provincial government but it has started legal action against the national government on the matter.

The Hela Provincial Administrator, William Bando, says that dialogue between the politicians is picking up.

"In the new UBSA, Umbrella Benefit Sharing Agreement, there is a review clause in the event that Hela becomes a province, and Hela is now a province. And so it's a call from the provincial government to the national government, hey let's have the review done."

William Bando says Hela people want to make sure that government action on these commitments comes to fruition before the project begins producing gas next year.