The National, Thursday, April 28, 2011
By PATRICK TALU
UPSTREAM resource owners of major petroleum development licence (PDL) areas for the LNG project have objected to the government’s planned social mapping and integrated landowner group (ILG) formation.
Wita clan chief Ekawi Tazanda, Arua chief Hengi Tandape, Wita Aru Holding chairman Hare Hengi from Hides PDL 1, Hengebe Aluya from Juha PDL9 and Chris Payabe, Hides 4 umbrella landowners association, PDL7 yesterday objected to Heritage Consultants being contracted by the Department of Petroleum and Energy to carry out the social mapping and ILG claiming outstanding issues with the government and ExxonMobil had to be resolved first.
In a petition signed by more than 45 clan members, they said Heritage Consultants, in charge of the social mapping and ILG processes, would not be allowed on their land while outstanding issues from all PDL areas had yet to be resolved by the government and PNG LNG project developer ExxonMobil and partners Oil Search Ltd.
Some of the issues highlighted in their petition are:
* K115 million outstanding commitment from the Kokopo umbrella benefits sharing agreement and the various licence-based benefits sharing agreement;
* K2 million outstanding memorandum of agreement (MoA) commitment for Pina clan (PDL1) for existing gas plant that supplies electricity to the Porgera gold mine;
* K6 million seed capital for Vita Arua clan for the Juni Tech and three well heads in PDL1 and ownership issue of Juni Tech and related issues;
* K29 million outstanding seed capital for PDL1 including the Wita Arua clan and the MoA commitment to the Hiwa Corporation Ltd of PDL1 at the UBSA and LBBSA; and
* K5 million claim under class B and C for services providers during the Kokopo UBSA and Nogoli LBBSA among many others
Aluya and Tandape said all these outstanding issues must be resolved by the state and its development partners before any social mapping and ILG were done.
“We will not allow any social mapping or ILG done on our land when our outstanding issues have yet to be addressed,” Tandape said.
“If the responsible parties are not responsive to our issues, there might likely be no projects in our PDLs.”
Aluya said all parties had two weeks to respond.
Attempts to get comments from acting Prime Minister Sam Abal were unsuccessful but Department of Finance and Treasury insiders, who did not want to be named, said MoA vetting had been completed and they were waiting for the treasurer to sign the cheques to be paid out “anytime before the end of the month”.