PNG Court dismisses TOTAL's Motion

Papua New Guinea Court  on Friday dismissed a motion filed by Total E&P Ltd seeking to set aside interim orders that restrain the State and its agents from conducting social mapping in Gulf where the Papua LNG project is located.

The motion was filed on July 20 to set aside the interim orders of the court on Nov 21 last year which restrained the State from doing social mapping under section 47 of Oil and Gas Act (1998) in the area.

The interim orders were granted on a substantive review proceeding in respect of the customary land described as portion 8C, volume 043 folio 106 Milinch Auri, Fourmil Kikori and Karamui in Gulf where Papua LNG is located.

Justice Nicholas Miviri, in his decision, stated that the orders were to preserve the status quo of the case until a time the court determined the issues before it.

He said the interim injunction orders specifically named the fourth defendant which is the state as the recipient of that order.

“The consequences of that order are upon the State and not Total E&P Ltd,” he said.

“It means there is no restraint against them as to doing social mapping and the like called for by section 47 of the Oil and Gas Act.”

The court found that Total in all respects of law was not the subject of that order and had never been the subject ever.

Miviri ordered that that interim injunction orders remained in force and adjourned the substantive proceedings to Feb 1 for a directions hearing.

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