"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

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Exxon v Landowners: Minister Duma Chooses Exxon

LO issues raise cost at LNG Project   

Post Courier, 29 November

Petroleum Minister William Duma says part of the cost blow-out of $US3 billion is attributed to landowner issues. 

“We have all heard about the cost blow out, one of the factors that have contributed to the cost of doing this LNG project has been attributed to landowner behaviour to stop works,’’ he said.

Mr Duma said the developer in its periodic reports to the department reported 500 high level incidences involving threats, assaults, illegal occupation of land, refusal of landowners to move out of the way to allow work to progress.

“It is incumbent upon us as leaders at provincial and national level to work with our landowners to realize that although they may have their own grievances it is important that we work together.”

He said the infrastructure development grants (IDG) and business development grants (BDG) would not solve all the problems

“There are a combination of factors that have led to the situation where we are in now, when we negotiated the UBSA and LBBSA agreement, the Government made a number of commitments in relation to benefits to landowners, the first one relates to IDG and BDG which are payable to landowner companies.”

Mr Dumas said in terms of BDG the Department of Commerce and Industry was the implementing agency and Petroleum was to facilitate the project to go ahead.
He said initial landowner identification and social mapping was done by Petroleum and Energy, to be phased out for independent study by outside consultants.

“Outside consultants are engaged, tender process which was done outside of my department and the CSTB awarded a K10 million contract to a company which was made up of individuals with experience in dealing with our landowners, unfortunately, due to many reasons, officers from the company who went to the project areas to do studies were not allowed to do that by landowners ...”

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