Landowners 'left out' of PNG LNG

A GROUP of tribesmen based around the important Hides field of the PNG LNG project in the southern highlands is warning of consequences if they are not recognised as legitimate landowners.

Landowners 'left out' of PNG LNG

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According to The National, the group consisting of Arua Hewa, Arua Tuyaga and Alua Pokoria tribesmen is calling for meetings with landowner company Gigira Development Corporation, project operator ExxonMobil, Oil Search and the Department of Petroleum and Energy.

Representatives from the group reportedly claimed they had been paid royalties during the past 19 years of operation in the Hides field in Petroleum Development Licence 1 but were "left out of the LNG project".

They will take "further action" if their requests are not met.

Exxon subsidiary Esso Highlands operates PDL 1 with a 47.5% stake.

In its last environmental and social report, Esso said more compensation agreements were expected to be struck in the December quarter - especially in areas relating to the Hides gas conditioning plant site and Komo airfield site.

An in-migration study on the Hides-Komo area was also underway in late 2011.

The $US15.7 billion PNG LNG aims to deliver first cargoes in 2014.

The project is expected to deliver more than 9 trillion cubic feet of gas over its 30-year life and to transform PNG's economy, especially through a windfall in government revenue.

Partners in PNG LNG are ExxonMobil (33.2%), Oil Search (29%), the Papua New Guinean government (16.6%), Santos (13.5%), Merlin Petroleum - which is 21%-owned by Marubeni - (4.7%), landowner enterprise Minerals Resource Development Company (2.8%) and Petromin (0.2%).

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