Wednesday, January 26, 2005

First day back at work

9.10 Advised that a man with a gun has threatened Joe and Jim at the wellpad near the lookout.
9.15 Called Shane on the radio and asked him to return to the office
9.16 Requested security to get Chris or Dennis to call me.
9.23 Advised the plant supervisor of the APF of a "shooter" in the area.
9.24 Dennis returned my phone call and will organise mobile squad to go down.
10.26 John, our security manager, believes the shooter is actually a person he knows and is going down to the wellhead to "sort it out"

Well they didn't find the guy but it appears it is all related to a tribal killing in 1964, they have long memories out here. The reason our people were held up seems to be more by accident then design.

Anyway plenty of excitement for a first day back at work.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Another flying visit.

I am on my way to PNG again after the briefest of visits home. Last Tuesday I spent all day on the plane and being harrassed by various check-in drones about my passport and the fact that I have visae in both my old and new passports. Anyway Wednesday morning I was back in NZ and greeted by friends and family at the airport. The last few days were passed playing with Daniel who has definitly improved his communication skills over the last month, it is good to see some progress.
Unfortunately as I wrote earlier it was a very short visit and yesterday afternoon I flew back to Sydney and right now I am waiting for my flight to Port Moresby.

Monday, January 17, 2005

Another strike.

We haven't had any labour unrest for at  least five days now. So it had to happen, we mobilised our pipe support crew to the start of the bush run and voila up jumped a bunch of people saying "no you can't work here". I should have known that this would happen as all the community affairs people strategically disappeared from the office this morning. So now we are running around finding them as well as the management from our subcontractor. Things just never are easy out here.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Flying visit.

A small flying fox somehow got into our office. I made a few half hearted attempts to catch it but then one of our local employees came around and caught it on his first try. It took some persuasion to get him to let it go again rather then turn it in a snack but eventually the beast was released unharmed to join his brethren out in a tree somewhere.

Monday, January 10, 2005


Yesterday at four in the afternoon the wind picked up and I decided to get a bit of a cool breeze on the veranda for a moment. Then the wind really started moving and spinning and while I was still thinking micro burst it lifted the roof clean of the medical centre's veranda. Three minutes later the wind died away and on inspection we found that no one had been hurt and with the exception of a few loose sheets of roofing iron the camp had sustained no additional damage.

Strikes, storms and sabotage we've got it all.

Saturday, January 08, 2005


There was a fight outside the gate to the camp a minute or so ago. One guy got knocked stone cold unconscious.
No idea what the argument was about.

Friday, January 07, 2005

Most applicable to PNG.

Still the world is wondrous large,
seven seas from marge to marge,
And it holds a vast of various kinds of man;
And the wildest dreams of Kew are the facts of Khatmandhu,
And the crimes of Clapham chaste in Martaban.


Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Swings and roundabouts.

The day started out with part of our workforce still on strike and demanding a letter of apology, not sure for what, thousand Kina and a pig. After lots of talking they eventually went back to work around eleven in the morning and we got a letter of apology from them for causing us trouble. No sign of a pig though.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

The evening report.

Well we are still in stand-off mode, the strikers now want compensation for being on strike, a pig and one thousand Kina (that's about five hundred Australian dollars). Our counter offer is that we won't fire those that have gone back to work. I don't expect much more happening this evening so we'll see what tomorrow brings.

Update 1

Midday now and the blockade is lifted but they refuse to let anyone go to work. We tried to force the issue by driving that part of the workforce that was willing to work up the road but all vehicles got stopped and turned around. John is currently trying to negotiate with them but it looks to me like we might have to send the police in to secure the work front.

Another blockade

Another day another issue. We have stopped those people that don't have an ID card from coming into the gate as we had more and more locals turning up for breakfast. So now they have barricaded us in again. As it turns out they were also using the ice from our ice machine to keep the cokes cold that they are selling at the front gate. There is a bit of an issue there anyway as I hadn't realised our local guards have muscled in on that business line and were trying to stop the use of ice by others then themselves. We'll see what happens next. Normally they tire after a while of pushing and shoving and everybody foes back to work as if nothing happened.

Monday, January 03, 2005

A beautiful day.

Another beautiful day. Our workforce went to work without complaint, much to my surprise, and production is up.
Anyway that gave me the opportunity for a quick tour of the countryside.
Twenty minutes flying from here is Walagu village where we are recruiting some of our labour from and it is one of the nicer villages I have seen both in and outside PNG. It is clean and the well looked after houses are for 99% built in the traditional manner with woven sides and thatch roofs and the village elders prohibit smoking in their village. An interesting fact is that first contact with these people was only made in 1970 and they were a feared group of cannibals at that time. Even now their witchdoctor is apparently taken very seriously by the other people in the area and when we did the negotiations with the various clans for the heads of agreement for this project the other participants refused to sleep in the same room as the representative from Walagu.