"We declare our first goal to be for every person to be dynamically involved in the process of freeing himself or herself from every form of domination or oppression so that each man or woman will have the opportunity to develop as a whole person in relationship with others".

- Papua New Guinea National Goals and Directive Principles

Monday, 19 March 2012

ExxonMobil halts LNG work

The National, Monday 19th March 2012

US OIL giant ExxonMobil had been forced to stop work in an area of its US$15.7 billion liquefied natural gas (LNG) project due to another land dispute with locals, the company said last Friday.

Esso Highlands, the Exxon subsidiary which operated the LNG development, stopped work in the Hides region of the Southern Highlands after locals demanding additional compensation from the company for their land threatened workers at the plant, Exxon spokeswoman Rebecca Arnold said.

Work on the project, which was expected to produce 6.6 million tonnes of LNG that will be exported, was also delayed in 2009 due to landowner concerns.

“Work has been temporarily suspended in the Hides area, but is continuing throughout the rest of the project area,” Arnold said, adding the stoppage would not delay the project’s startup date of 2014.
ExxonMobil led a consortium building the project which was PNG biggest-ever resource undertaking and which could boost GDP by 20%. Arnold said the police were now involved in the dispute and the company had “taken steps to engage with the group to understand their concerns.”

Landowners in the Hides region recently blamed ExxonMobil for a landslide which took place at the site of quarry that had been used by the company. Arnold said the recent landowner claims were unrelated to the landslide incident.

The LNG project is a joint venture between ExxonMobil, Oil Search, Santos, Japan’s JX Nippon Oil and Gas Exploration, a unit of JX Holdings, and the PNG government.
Arnold, meantime, could not give the latest when contacted last night.

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