2016 Hides landowners issue

Existing court order delays Hides landowners’ payment

This is due to an existing court order preventing the Department of Petroleum, and other concerned departments and statutory bodies, from conducting landowner identification in PDLs 1, 7, 8 and 9.

Petroleum and Energy Minister Nixon Duban confirmed today that the payments never happened as agreed on because he and the department were advised of the court order and breaching that would be in contempt of court.

Although payments were raised for this, landowners have been informed of the court order, which was taken out by a Albert Mokai in June this year.

LOs grant access to ExxonMobil

The negotiations, which began last Wednesday after the landowners locked the gates to some well pads and the Hides Gas Conditioning Plant, ended with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding yesterday between the state and landowners of PDL 1 and 7.

The MoU basically sets out a way forward for the government and the landowners to achieve their objectives within the next 30 days.

The 30-day period starts today. The employees of the Department of Petroleum and Energy will start the clan vetting process to identify landowners of these two PDL areas.

Hides landowners confirm existence of funds with BPNG

Bank statements from BSP and ANZ were also presented to them by the Mineral Resource Development Company to confirm their 2 percent free carry equities are kept there.

Landowner representative and businessman Larry Andagali thanked the government and MRDC for proving to them that their funds are being kept safe.

He said they have remained as ‘doubting Thomas’ after being misled by people with vested interests and they are now happy to reopen the gates to the well heads and the conditioning plant.

Outstanding IDGs to be paid to landowners next week

Petroleum and Energy Minister Nixon Duban announced this to frustrated landowners today during the signing of a MoU between the government and landowners of PDL 1 and PDL 7.

He said after consultation with the Prime Minister, he has agreed to pay them the money within 7 days.

With this, he called on landowners to reopen gates to well pads and the conditioning plant.

PDL 7 landowner representative, Andy Hamaga, and PDL 1 spokesman, Larry Andagali, gave their undertaking to open the gates today.

Hides landowners camping outside site’s closed gates

Loop PNG was reliably informed by a source on the ground that landowners are sleeping in front of the closed gates but the place is quiet.

Two police mobile squads from McGregor and one from Tomaringa, totalling almost 80 personnel, are providing security to the ExxonMobil-run facility. 

“We are just here to provide security for employees and company properties in case they are attacked,” said a policeman, who wished to remain anonymous. 

Treat landowner issue with consideration, says Juffa

Juffa exclusively told Loop PNG that if the government is not careful, the situation will lead to a crisis similar to the Bougainville case.

"More than 200 cargoes of LNG shipment have left our shores and the landowners are yet to receive a toea from the Government, which is unbelievable,” said Juffa.

"It was fine for the government to take them to Kokopo and have them sign all types of agreement without questioning their land ownership.

Hides landowners refuse to budge

After hearing all their concerns, the ministers have asked the landowners to come back and meet with them after parliament next week and within 30 days.

That is when they also plan to talk to Justice Ambeng Kandakasi to see how they can speed up the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) process. This is to ensure the method of paying royalties and development levies, including the 2 percent free carry equities, are freed up for distribution.

Hides landowners start their presentations

Spokesperson Andy Hamaga, in highlighting some of the main points included in the petition, has called for the 4.27 percent equity to be given to the landowners free of charge.

They have opposed the idea of a beneficiary group – that includes the five provincial governments – to seek and buy those shares on behalf of them.

They claim the National Executive Council has charged them one billion US dollars to buy back those shares and this is too expensive for them to meet.

They therefore want that equity, now being held by Kumul Petroleum, to be given to them free.

Huge crowd with placards meets ministerial delegation

Some of the demands on the placards read "No Kandakasi team in Hides PDLs 1, 7 &9. ADR step down".

The main issues the landowners now seem to have is the payment of royalties.

In one of the placards, the landowners claim there is no landowner issue and they want their monies to be paid.

They also demand to know how much of their royalties are now being kept in trust accounts.

Talks have now started as landowner spokesman Andy Hamaga has taken to the podium to set the stage for talks to be held.

Ministerial delegation in Hela to address landowner issues

The group comprises of the finance and petroleum ministers, a member of parliament, managing directors of trustee entities, officials from ExxonMobil and the media.

The delegation has just arrived at the Komo airport on a chartered Airlink flight and are now on their way to meet the landowners at Hides.

Discussions today with the landowners will be to address the petition they presented to the government earlier this week.

Although the petition was presented to ExxonMobil instead of the government, the team will try to deal with the issues raised.