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By Staff Reporter : PNG Today

LNG shut down: Opposition warns Govt not to use force to resolve




By PETER S. KINJAP

Angry landowners from Hides area in the Hela Province has forced ExxonMobil to shutdown the gas conditioning plant and wellheads in the PDL-17 area. Sources from ExxonMobil in Komo confirmed this after that the LNG condensation plant is confirmed shutdown of its six (6) valves along the main 292km pipeline from Hides to Omati landfall. All entrance into the plant site is completely chained/locked. More trees cut down along the pipeline corridor starting from well pad B-G and the entire pipeline corridor is definitely closed and forced all wellhead operators back to the main camp.

Landowners had given the 2hrs to ExxonMobil to shutdown control room and flare and if ExxonMobil don't want to corporate with them, they are prepared to go in and shut the control room themselves. Temporary shelter erected at the four (4) corner just in front of the gate entrance into the plant site and wellheads.

Meanwhile, Opposition leader Don Polye in a media statement released this afternoon warn the Government not to use the security force to resolve the issues, rather create dialogue and resolve in an amicable manner.  

Mr. Polye urged the Prime Minister Peter O’Neill to visit the disgruntled landowners on site and address the shutdown issue.  

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill and his key economic ministers are being urged to travel to the LNG project site in Hela for talks with the aggrieved landowners.

Upon learning the government plans to use police and army, Opposition Leader Don Pomb Polye made the call.

“The insensitive Prime Minister, Finance Minister James Marape, Planning Minister Charles Abel and Treasury Minister Pruaitch must not use the disciplined forces to contain the situation.

“Their engagement will not solve any problem. It will exacerbate the situation,” said Mr Polye.

He said shutdown of the Hide gas plant by angry landowners over delay in LNG project related funds reflected the government’s incompetency.

“I call on the Prime Minister and his key economic ministers to deal with landowner issues honestly and justly.

“When I was in government, I handled their grievances with care and prudence.

“Hence, I avoided shutdowns,” he said.

The shutdown of the LNG Project stems from a demand by prominent businessman and landowner leader of Hides PDL 1, Larry Andagali, whom have supported the calls by Hides PDL 7 landowners to shut down the LNG project indefinitely.

Mr. Andagali said PDL 1 landowners will join as well because he claims the Government has taken six-and-a-half years, since the signing of the final LBBSA agreement (Dec 7, 2009), to kick-start the PNG LNG Project.

Andagali says the Government has turned a “blind eye” on its people through the slow clan vetting and landowner identification process.

He said the provincial government supported an NEC-approved “beneficiary group” to negotiate and manage the 4.27 percent Kroton equity, which does not represent the PDL1 landowners’ interest.

“ExxonMobil and Oil Search must comply to our call and shut down the project. So far we have been patient and guaranteed 250 loads of LNG cargo, which is in the billions of Kina and to date, landowners have not seen our benefits,” said Andagali.

“We do not want confrontation. If this call is not adhered to, then you face the full force of LNG landowners and we are now calling on all landowners from Papa Lea Lea to Juha to join forces,” Andagali further said.

He says social mapping and landowner identification process is the number one procedure any developer should follow under law. He thinks the developers have failed in this project. This process will identify legitimate clans and their leadership is crucial to carrying out the following:

•Develop their future generation’s benefit management trust; 
•Develop infrastructure development plan to spend K120m per annum in IDG grants (previously called MoA funds);
•Develop proper umbrella company structure to manage 30 percent of its community investment programs from their 2 percent royalty and 2 percent free equity benefits; 
•Develop proper ILG cash distribution processes so that 40 percent cash component of royalty and equity benefits are paid direct into the clan ILGs accounts; and 
•Raise 4.27 percent Kroton equity.

The situation is tense at Komo with aggravated landowners minding the gate and gas valves in hides area.

More developments will be updated.

Photos: supplied/Peter Kinjap.
A landowner representative making the final call this after to shut down the valves stations and condensation plant. Image: Supplied/Peter Kinjap


Posted by Staff Reporter : PNG Today on 3:47 AM. Filed under , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Share this Article

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