The leaders have also declared a ‘no-deal' position until proposed amendments to the Oil and Gas Act 1998 are made, the Post Courier newspaper reports.
But these are contrary to the stated position of resource landowners, as represented by the P‘nyang Resources Association, the mouthpiece of Petroleum Resources P'nyang Ltd (PRPL), the equity management company for P'nyang gas field landowners and people of Olsobip rural LLG, part of Ningerum LLG and Kiunga rural LLG in Western Province. It further covers people of Telefomin district of Sandaun Province.
P'nyang Resources Association president Micheal Betkimsok said the resource owners want to see the State Negotiation Team continue and conclude the gas agreement with the project developers, denoting a potential collision course with the political leaders of the province.
Western Province Governor Taboi Awi Yoto and North Fly MP James Donald, on the other hand made their stances clear to the state in a media statement. "We'd like to thank the PM for his wisdom in allowing the Western Provincial government team to participate in the State Negotiating Team (SNT), something that has never been done in past LNG project negotiations.
"We have made both written and verbal presentation to parties in the negotiating team by way of presenting our term sheet to the SNT, P'nyang Ministerial Committee and ExxonMobil since negotiations started in November 2019."
"Unfortunately we see that the Western provincial government's interest has not been captured, not even one single position in the negotiating terms of the state, neither have we received any feedback from the SNT," the joint statement by the two leaders said.