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Port Moresby
June 25, 2022

Wahoo Project Causes Land Ownership Struggles

The Wahoo 1 Project in East Kerema in the Gulf Province has caused land ownership struggle amongst the Lesse and Popo landowners.

The recent media statement by Popo landowners moved Lesse clans to turn up at EMTV, expressing disappointment over the Popo’s.


However the Popo’s say, the situation here is not to create a media war but to push regulators such as Department of Petroleum and Energy, to come out clear about the land identification report.


The Lesse clan representatives fronted up at the EMTV office to respond to comments made by Popo landowners over the weekend.


They claim Popo landowners are 9 km outside the seismic drilling and have no ownership over the land where the project is staged.


However the Popo’s refused to apologize.


They say the concern here is not to claim ownership over the land, but to join the fight in making sure the Department of Petroleum and Energy (DPE) table the preliminary land identification report.


The Popo’s are inviting the Lesse’s for a roundtable discussion, as the developer Inter Oil has started test drilling.


Meanwhile, Inter Oil responded in a letter stating, Social Mapping and Land owner identification has been completed but the report is yet to be submitted to DPE.


Gulf Governor, Havila Kavo, is yet to comment on this matter.


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