‘Villagers for LNG project to proceed’

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OIL SEARCH Ltd says all the village communities in the PNG LNG project areas are very supportive of it.
“They all want the project to go head,” Oil Search Ltd’s operations manager   Phil Caldwell in Sydney at the weekend said.
He told The National in his Sydney office that the people were not aggressive against the project, but what they wanted was to maximise their benefits.
Mr Caldwell’s comments come amid forum meetings currently being led by the PNG Government officials with villagers in the project impact areas.
The benefits sharing agreements must be signed in the lead-up to the final investment decision next month,  days away.
Mr Caldwell is highly optimistic the joint venture partners will agree on the project to proceed.
The partners are: ExxonMobil operator with 41.5%, Oil Search 34%, Santos 17.7%, Nippon Oil 5.4%, Mineral Resources Development Corp 1.2% and Eda Oil 0.2%. Current equity levels will be reduced to accommodate the Government’s 19.4 % equity whenever it decides to take it up.
The partners respected ExxonMobil as the leader and operator of the project and the Oil Search team was assisting in whatever necessary to help the project along.
Responding to questions about landowner concerns and possible opposition to the project, Mr Caldwell said all landowners were very supportive of the project and there was no antagonism and aggressive actions and intimidation against the project.
What people were making noise about was about people wanting to get more in terms of benefits, he said.