Papua New Guinea Natural Gas Project At Risk

August 2012, Vol. 239 No. 8

A failure to work with the community could undermine Papua New Guinea’s $16 billion liquefied natural gas project, the key element of which is a massive pipeline.

Though work began on building the hardware to extract and pipe gas from the mountains of Papua New Guinea three years ago, many local people say they are excluded, frustrated and suspicious about the project.

Causing particular anxiety was the failure blamed largely on the PNG government for on facilitating a full landowner identification process. Observers said that although the LNG project represents a significant opportunity for PNG and has already provided local jobs and boosted the economy, these gains are at risk of being undermined if local disenchantment and simmering social tensions ignite the powderkeg Highlands region.