18 Feb 2010

Developers again suspend operations after killing at PNG gas project

3:10 pm on 18 February 2010

Papua New Guinea petroleum explorer, Oil Seach, which runs the Hides gas project in Tari in Southern Highlands province, and ExxonMobil, which is building a huge LNG nearby, have both expressed concern after a murder at Hides on Monday.

An Oil Search employee was shot at Kulu village, near the Hides gas plant.

The National newspaper reports that dead man was Iripalu Matiabe, who worked as a community liaison officer with Oil Search at Hides.

He was a member of the Iriwaga clan, the principal landowners of the Hides gas field.

Police have attributed the killing to trbal rivalry.

ExxonMobil, through its subsidiary Esso Highlands Ltd, has suspended all its operations at Hides, including early works preparations for the construction phase of the LNG project, the Komo international airport development, Yuni LNG technical college, and the construction of forward base at Kobalu near Hides.