The National, Friday 04th November 2011
LANDOWNER and government leaders from Southeast Mananda in Southern Highlands have applauded the payment of more than K8 million in royalties.
They said the K8,063,750.94 dividend paid by Oil Search on Wednesday was a confirmation of their trust in the developer and political leadership.
They made particular mention of Petroleum and Energy Minister William Duma and Treasurer Don Polye.
Komo local level government president Thomas Potape yesterday said the people’s fight and struggle to paid for what was theirs had come true.
“This was possible with the understanding and cooperation between all parties concerned and the political leadership, especially that of Duma and Polye.
“I ask that these leaders also push for the LNG memorandum of agreement payments to be made,” Potape said.
Duma had made a ministerial determination in September, which was accepted by the Southeast Mananda beneficiaries, who also executed a benefits sharing agreement. This enabled Oil Search to release the funds.
“While oil production started in 2006, the royalties were not paid until Wednesday,” Potape said.
“This, we understand, was
from a directive by the then Department of Mining and Petroleum as a result of a dispute among the beneficiaries.”
After numerous court battles, parties involved finally came to an agreement leading to the payment on Wednesday.