LNG pipes not a danger

National, Normal

The National, Tuesday October 22nd, 2013


THE PNG LNG pipeline does not pose a threat to lives or the environment, the developer of the project ExxonMobil says.

The company was responding to claims by landowners living along the pipeline.

The developer said Esso Highlands Ltd was meeting its commitments to build the PNG LNG Project to international safety standards as well as standards set by environmental, engineering and construction regulations. 

“In doing so, we are ensuring the integrity of the pipeline and the safety of the communities that live in the vicinity,” a source said.

The developer said PDL 7 landowner association chairman Chris Payabe raised concerns the PNG LNG gas pipeline was a threat to the environment and the people.

Speaking on behalf of the landowners, Payabe said the landowners were not happy with developer ExxonMobil and Sperberg, the company contracted to lay the pipes from Hides to Portion 125 in Central, over the manner in which the pipes were laid.

He said the pipes were exposed and not at a depth of  6-8m. That, he said, posed possible risks.

However, the representative from ExxonMobil said the PNG LNG Project’s pipeline routes had been chosen on the basis of several key criteria, including:

  • Using existing linear disturbed areas close to existing infrastructure; 
  • Giving the pipeline right of way (ROW) away from inhabited areas, such as villages, where possible; 
  • Reducing the number and complexities of water course crossings;
  • Minimising disturbance by limiting the ROW to 30m where possible.
  • Avoiding steep, unstable slopes and minimising side slopes; and,
  • Avoiding critical wildlife habitat and cultural areas such as sacred areas or archaeological sites.

The source said the project was committed to operating in an environmentally responsible manner and it was managed with an in-depth scientific understanding of the environmental and social impacts of its operations.

The project’s environmental and social management plan (ESMP) described management and mitigation measures be applied in areas where sensitivities were identified. This enabled compliance with the environment permit issued by the Papua New Guinea Environment and Conservation Department, the source said.