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Landowners demand $193 million compensation

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, August 18, 2009) – Landowners from Komo in the Southern Highlands Province have closed down the Hides gas and oil and electricity plant and are demanding K500 million [US$193 million] from Oil Search and Department of Petroleum and Energy.

All the Oil Search staff were chased out of the processing plant and electricity plant yesterday before the landowners shut off all operations.

Oil Search Hides gas field operation office confirmed the closure of their facility and declined to comment further.

But they promised to make a statement today on how they would deal with the issue.

Southern Highlands provincial police commander Supt Jimmy Onipia and Highlands operations commander Simon Kauba while confirming the incident said police had been sent into the area to monitor the situation.

Supt Onipia said no damages had been reported but the situation was tense in the area.

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