Claims fake landowners aiming for PNG gas royalties

3:56 pm on 21 May 2018

A landowner representative in the Hides area of Papua New Guinea's Hela Province says there are many people in the area claiming to be landowners when that's not the case.

Exxon Mobil PNG's Hides gas conditioning plant

Exxon Mobil PNG's Hides gas conditioning plant Photo: Richard Dellman

Andy Hamaga was speaking amid ongoing criticism of the government's failure to pay royalties to landowners for the huge ExxonMobil-led liquefied natural gas project.

The project's main gas plant is located in Hides where Mr Hamaga says deals were drawn up in 2009 with landowners for Umbrella Benefit Sharing Agreements and Licensed Area Benefit Sharing Agreements.

But he said the rightful landowners were not identified at that time and now fraudulent landowners have emerged.

"Unfortunately the previous government and the current government have failed to identify the landowners. So when that happened anybody from Hides and anybody from Hela and neighbouring provinces and districts, they claimed to be a landowner."

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