1 Feb 2010

Four villagers killed near planned Papua New Guinea LNG plant

5:01 pm on 1 February 2010

ExxonMobil has suspended work near a liquefied natural gas site in Papua New Guinea after four local villagers were killed in a tribal dispute.

The clash between two rival coastal villages near the capital Port Moresby occurred in an area where ExxonMobil is to build a plant to liquefy, store and load gas for shipment overseas.

The incident has forced the shutdown of road building works to the planned plant site.

The fight erupted on Saturday afternoon after drunken Borea village youths threw stones at Porebada villagers as they were gardening in the area, half an hour's drive west from Port Moresby.

Porebada villagers went to Borea village later that day to resolve the dispute, but four of them were shot dead.

PNG's National newspaper reported the fight was linked to ongoing tensions regarding land ownership and LNG leases.

A spokesman for ExxonMobil in Port Moresby says the safety and security of its workforce and the communities in which it operates are of the utmost importance and it's monitoring the situation closely.