PNG LNG royalties start

AFTER three years of export the Papua New Guinea government has begun paying landowners royalties from the $19 billion PNG LNG project.

PNG LNG royalties start

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A 2% royalty had always been set aside for landowners but exactly who those owners were has been open to bitter dispute. 
 
Funds were held in trust as clashes often beset and confused what was already a difficult government vetting process. 
 
Local media reported that a group of landholders earlier this month issued the government an ultimatum to resolve all disputes by the end of the year. 
 
The group included businessman Larry Andagali, who runs land holder logistics company Trans Wonderland. 
 
An Exxonmobil spokesperson said that important progress had been made with the PNG government's start of royalty payment. 
 
"Neither ExxonMobil nor PNG LNG are a party to the agreements that outline how project direct revenue streams will be shared with project area landowners, local level governments and provincial governments," the spokesperson said.
 
However, the spokesperson also affirmed that the supermajor would do everything it could to facilitate discussion between parties and distribution of benefits to landowners and communities. 
 
The ExxonMobil-operated PNG LNG project has had plans to double exports by investing in new gas fields, but the disputes have reportedly held this up. 
 
The PNG LNG project is one of the world's lowest-cost gas projects, and has run above nameplate capacity, providing profits galore to Australian-listed project partner Oil Search. 
 
Land disputes amid competing customary land claims are not uncommon in PNG.
 
Customary land, or traditional ownership, is estimated at up 97% of the country. 
 
 
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