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LNG project still operational despite threats by landowners in PNG

Staff Reporter | 12:38 PM | |
EXXONMOBIL says its facilities are still operating despite threats by the landowners of Hides to shut down the project.

It was responding to questions by the Post-Courier if operations had suffered.

"ExxonMobil PNG is continuing to monitor the situation regarding the peaceful protest in Hela Province," the firm said.

It had assured of its commitment to work with landowners.

"We are committed to working with landowners and respect the right of individuals to peacefully protest, but we also encourage a continued dialogue between landowners and the Government to resolve their outstanding issues promptly.

"We are committed to maintaining a positive relationship with landowners, the Government and the wider community," the spokesperson said.

Meanwhile a ministerial team led by the Minister for Petroleum and Energy Nixon Duban is expected to visit landowners in Hela today.

This visit follows a visit by the State team to the province yesterday to hear grievances raised by the landowners on their shares regarding landowner benefits.

Mr Duban said the ministerial team will visit only when the leaders have addressed their issues so that they can be able to understand and will express to the people where the government already paid to individuals and groups.

He also said that in the process the Government will then expose what has already been paid to individuals and groups which they have on record.

"We will produce the list of who got what by name, date and what projects they have applied for and will publish the lists through the two dailies for landowners and the rest of the country to see, because these are public funds and we must look at it very carefully.

"We will also investigate the use of the funds to ensure accountability and actual projects have been delivered," he said.

He clarified that the Government has never taken any loans using landowner benefits as collateral, stating that UBS loan does not use that or Kroton options shares as collateral adding that if landowners have some facts they should prove it.

He made a call to the landowners to restrain themselves from taking the law into their own hands and allow the dialogue to address their issues in the coming days and weeks.

Post COurier