DPE yet to decide on forum sites

Business, Normal


THE Department of Petroleum and Energy (DPE) is yet to decide on the sites of licence-based forums for landowners affected by the ExxonMobil-led liquefied natural gas (LNG) project.
DPE Minister William Duma said there would be several forums to be held at the licence areas.
Meanwhile, Police Commissioner Gari Baki has asked DPE to provide information on the series of forums, ahead of all other arrangements so that proper planning could done in terms of police deployment, resources and costing.
“Social mapping is going to be tough. It is going to be a large exercise.
“We need to plan in advance,” Mr Baki said yesterday while confirming that he had been in some discussions with DPE Secretary Rendal Rimua regarding the forum security.
The benefits sharing agreement (BSA) forum in Kokopo, East New Britain province, last May more than 200 police officers on duty, he said.
Mr Baki said early security planning was needed to pool resources and manpower, adding that they would have to transport personnel and logistics to the forum sites.
The meeting with the affected landowners would deal with 10 different licences, including portion 152, which is the site of the gas plant located within the Kairuku-Hiri area in Central province.
“There are many different competing landowners groups and they all have their own peculiar issues.
“Depending on logistics, security … we would then make a decision on the appropriate locations to hold those forums.
“There will not be one forum. There will be a number of them. The law (Oil and Gas Act) requires us to hold those forums at the site, or somewhere near the locations and we will do that,” Mr Duma said.
“These forums are designed in such a way that at the end of the day, we agree on a package that is good for both our landowners and Government.
“We will be discussing benefits that will accrue to them (landowners) so since we are the Government, we will hold those forums on site or on places near the site,” he said.