9 Feb 2010

ExxonMobil suspends work in several areas of PNG LNG project

7:49 pm on 9 February 2010

The ExxonMobil-led Liquified Natural Gas Project in Papua New Guinea has confirmed is has temporarily suspended construction activity in several areas in Southern Highlands Province.

In a statement, ExxonMobil says the decision has been taken to allow adjustments to be made to project security plans in response to a continuing series of violent incidents in the area.

This comes after police clashed with hundreds of heavily armed villagers near a proposed site for the multi-billion dollar project, and just days after a key road to ExxonMobil's proposed Kobalu base was held up by local villagers.

Last week, ExxonMobil also stopped construction of a road for the LNG project near Port Moresby after five clansmen were shot dead in tribal fighting.

The company says the Project is committed to ensuring a safe work environment for employees, contractors and local communities.

Work in the affected areas will re-commence when it is deemed safe to do so.