Papua New Guinea troops to protect huge Exxon-Mobil Ex-Im supported gas project
(wsws.org, Jacksonville, 19 December 2016) The Papua New Guinea (PNG) government announced on Friday that it will deploy military personnel to stop “violence” near the country’s biggest resources installation, the Exxon-Mobil Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) project...The security and viability of the ExxonMobil operation is a key concern in Washington. In November 2010, then US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited PNG and noted that the US Export-Import Bank was helping finance the ExxonMobil project, noting "China is in there every day in every way trying to figure out how it’s going to come in behind us, come in under us.”... Traditional landowners are now threatening to physically attack the LNG plant over the government’s failure to pay promised royalties and equity in the project. The landowners are owed $1 billion kina ($US315 million) in royalties.
Jubilee Australia has had concerns about the potential militarisation of the project since its inception,' said Director Luke Fletcher . 'We first raised these concerns in 2009 in our Risky Business report, and more fully developed them in 2012 with Pipe Dreams.' He questioned the characterisation of the violence as simply tribal. "If that is so, why has it suddenly broken out now, just as landowner unhappiness with the project escalates? And why engage Exxon and Oil Search (project operators) to assist with policing the area?