By Michelle Amba – EMTV, Port Moresby
A peaceful protest march was staged this morning at Hides, in Hela Province, by landowners of the PNG LNG Project regarding outstanding benefits.
Landowners of Hides Petroleum Development areas one and seven are protesting over delays in their royalty payments and outstanding Business Development Grants of 19 million kina.
The protest started at 5am today with more than 20 vehicles convoying as part of the peaceful protest.
The protest was staged outside an LNG Conditioning Plant and lasted for six hours before representatives from Exxon Mobil addressed the landowners.
The developer is aware of the protest and maintains that it has met all its commitments under the project agreement and the Oil and Gas Act.
Exxon Mobil says PNG LNG continues to pay landowner royalties into a government nominated Trust Account with the Bank of PNG, with Mineral Resources Development Company continuing to receive equity dividends from the PNG LNG project.
The landowners have given the government a week to respond to their demands.