Locals harass staff

National, Normal

The National, Monday, May 9, 2011

FRUSTRATED landowners of Gobe petroleum development licence (PDL4 and PDL3) harassed Department of Petroleum and Energy and Esso Highlands Ltd (EHL) officers last Friday at Simberigi as they were trying to address outstanding business development issues with Gobe landowners.
Jerome Kairi, chairman for PDL4, said villagers harassed officers at Simberigi station, saying EHL had failed to give them opportunity to take part in the early works.
Kairi said an expatriate EHL officer was nearly attacked.
This could not be confirmed with EHL yesterday.
Kairi said villagers who had been left frustrated for over a year vented their anger.
He said the officers left Simberigi on the same day as it was not safe.
He said the villagers demanded: 
* They wanted to have their K45 million payout in full through DPE and not through other line agencies; 
* K11 million payment to services providers of UBSA and LBBSA;
* Payment of all accumulated royalty and equity funds held by MRDC through PRG from 2003 to 2011 as per the National Court order last week; and
* Quick interventions by acting Prime Minister Sam Abal to appoint a board for PRG.
“My Tipurupeke clans of PDL 4 gas fields have been denied for 17 years as we have been fighting for our landownership with Imame Bogasi clans and now that we have been recognised by the National Court, we want all issues to be addressed amicably,” he said.
Kairi said failure to adhere to the requests of villagers have an adverse effect on the PNG LNG project.
Abal suspended the PRG pending the completion to the controversial five-star casino in which PRG has invested over K5 million.