Four more deaths blamed on ExxonMobil LNG project

Four more Papua New Guinean’s are dead and two are in a critical condition after further violent clashes between ingigenous groups fighting over land ownership and benefits from the huge ExxonMobil liquified natural gas project in Papua New Guinea.

These latest deaths, close to the capital Port Moresby, follow the reported killing of up to eleven people in tribing fighting over benefits from the project in the Southern Highlands about a week ago.

The latest deaths occurred over the weekend in a dispute between the Boera and Porebada villages over who owns the site where the LNG project liquefaction plant, storage and shipping facilities will be built at a cost of some US$7 billion.

Although the contract for the initial construction work has already been awarded, to a Japanese company, these latest deaths seem to confirm that ExxonMobil has failed to do the most basic preparatory work with local landowners and that there will be plenty of further violence as the project is implemented.

A mobile police unit is now trying to restore calm in the area but in the meantime road construction works have been stopped. There is no indication from ExxonMobil about whether it is satisfied it has the prior informed consent of local people and what steps it will now take to improve the situation on the ground, both in Port Moresby, where the shipping will take place, and the Southern Highlands where the gas is located.

In the meantime, unless urgent steps are taken, the LNG project seems destined to further rubbish the human rights record of the oil, gas and mining industries when operating in PNG and other less developed countries.

Further report in the Sydney Morning Herald –


3 Responses to “Four more deaths blamed on ExxonMobil LNG project”

  1. Stella Simaingi Says:

    Thanks for the bad news, at lease I know what goes on back in my country. I mean the truth. Please keep emailong me.


  2. Tony Power Says:

    The last paragraph is a gratuitous non-sequitur. There is no history of Exon Mobil rubbishing human rights in PNG. The problems encountered are entirely due to the inability of the government to take serously the need to sort out the land rights for the investor.
    I wrote a note to Post Courier re therocky road to LNG outlining the poor state of accord or mobilization in many areas of the project impact. PC declined to publish it. There will be much trouble ahead but it is not a result of any human rights abuse. Get your facts right and leave your bias back at home.

    • Could not disagree more Tony. If the government, as you say, has not obtained the prior informed consent of the landowners then their human rights are being abused. It is the developers responsibility to do due diligence and only proceed if satisfied that human rights have not been infringed. You know that human rights have been walked all over here. It is obvious to everyone – including ExxonMobil who are guilty by virtue of their decision to blaze ahead anyway – rather than rectifying the situation FIRST. The facts are right as you have confirmed – so no bias I’m afraid.

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