PNG government keen to resolve LNG dispute

11:01 am on 17 August 2016

The Papua New Guinea government says it is committed to resolve a dispute at the Liquified Natural Gas project in Hela province where five wells run by ExxonMobil remain blocked off.

LNG Project facility, Central Province, Papua New Guinea.

LNG Project facility, Central Province, Papua New Guinea. Photo: RNZI / Johnny Blades

The situation remains unclear, with the Petroleum and Energy Minister Nixon Duban telling the Post Courier that a state team has been negotiating with landowners.

However, Mr Duban said the blockade was mounted by what he described as opportunists taking advantage of the situation and not by landowners.

Last week, the blockade was reported to be launched by landowners at the Hides field because the government allegedly owed them five years worth of contributions amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars.

The minister said police had been sent into the area and will remain there to give comfort to all stake holders, including the investor.

ExxonMobil had declined to comment about production-related issues but said that the Hides gas conditioning plant is continuing to operate.

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