The landowner negotiations are going nowhere in a hurry and yesterday
one of the clans walked out of the meeting. So at the moment we are
taking a wait and see attitude but position wise we are miles apart. It
is difficult for the landowners to see the difference between the
benefits that come from the discovery of a new oil field, which was what
happened last time, and the construction of some pipelines to an
existing field, which is what we are doing now.
While everybody accepts that delays, unrealistic expectations and
stalled negotiations are the price of doing business in PNG it's
frustrating all the same. Also we can't wait forever and an exit
strategy must be considered if we can't make any headway.