Call for greater returns for PNG resource owners

4:57 pm on 3 March 2017

Papua New Guinea's Opposition Leader Don Polye is calling for the petroleum and energy sector to ensure resource owners' get greater benefits.

Papua New Guinea opposition leader and Kandep MP Don Polye.

Papua New Guinea opposition leader and Kandep MP Don Polye. Photo: Papua New Guinea opposition

Speaking at the inaugural petroleum and energy summit being underway in Port Moresby, Mr Polye said the discussions have been one-sided - focussing on corporate profitability, while the interests of landowners have been ignored.

Mr Polye says earnings from the sector must also benefit the people and secure their futures.

He says PNG's human development index has worsened despite the existence of world-class energy projects in the country.

The biggest project is the ExxonMobil-led Liquefied Natural Gas project which has commercialised gas fields in the country's Highlands region.

LNG Project facility, Central Province, Papua New Guinea.

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

The US$19 billion LNG Project began exports to Asian markets in 2014, but landowner communities are still complaining that they have seen little in the way of benefits from the project.

While their grievances have tended to be with government rather than developer, landowners mounted various protests last year, demanding outstanding project payments, and greater share of equity in the project.

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