Friday, May 25, 2012

Gulf LNG project ‘great opportunity’ for province

Development of the Gulf LNG project will be the “greatest development opportunity in the history of the Gulf province”, according to InterOil corporate affairs manager Kevin Byrne, The National reports.
He said the project would go ahead despite “grenades” being hurled at it, an apparent allusion to continuous criticisms of InterOil as well as the government threats to terminate the Gulf LNG Project Agreement of December 23, 2009.
InterOil is developing the Triceratops-2 appraisal well in Gulf province, along with earlier discoveries by the company in the adjacent Elk/Antelope structure.
“All parties—the project, national government, provincial and LLGs (local level governments) - must accept and take ownership of their legislated responsibilities,” Byrne said in a presentation at last Friday’s mining and petroleum workshop for PNG media,

Landowner liaison talks in Gulf province
“All parties need to heed the experience of other large scale resource projects.
“That suggests that many potential benefits do not occur and do not benefit the broader community and there is overwhelming evidence that new approaches are needed to effectively utilise resource revenues.
“A proactive approach is required if social risks are to be effectively managed.
“All responsibilities need be documented and agreed prior to project start and need articulation at the LBSA (landowner benefit sharing agreement) phase.”
Main components of the project are production and preparation of gas at the Elk and Antelope gas fields, transportation of the gas and condensate over a 120km pipeline, liquefaction of the gas, and shipment of the gas and condensate.
Byrne said the current situation in the project area was that most people lived along the coast and rivers; provincial and LLG’s had low capacity and no resources; very few income earning opportunities; strong subsistence base (sago, fishing, hunting, gardens); appalling state of health and education facilities; and basic housing, no or limited electricity and sanitation and poor transport.
He said social and economic impacts would be enormous, including:

• Income levels would increase dramatically;

• Potential for improved access, public infrastructure, services and commercial activities;

• Potential for improved housing and living conditions and government services;

• Substantial in-migration;

• Social tension and conflict—land ownership, benefit sharing arrangements, distribution and inequality;

• Adverse social change;

• Increases in communicable diseases;

• Large scale potential to fuel corruption and PS inefficiency.

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