Papua New Guinean villagers have gone on a rampage, attacking an ExxonMobil gas site.

PNG's National newspaper reports high powered weapons were used in the surprise attack that saw a Caterpillar 740 dump truck and service truck burned, and other equipment destroyed.

The attack on the LNG (liquefied natural gas) contractors Clough Niugini and Queensland company Curtain Brothers happened last Friday night near Kaiam Ferry in Kikori, Gulf province, on PNG's southeast coast.

The cause of the unrest is unclear, but the National reports it was part of ongoing disagreements between various landowner groups in LNG sites across the country.

ExxonMobil spokesman Miles Shaw told AAP no workers were injured in the attack.

"Police are investigating so it's not appropriate for ExxonMobil to comment right now.

"The attack happened at night so no one was directly threatened," he said.

The A$16 billion (US$15.38 billion) ExxonMobil-led LNG project is hyped to double PNG's gross domestic product with at least 30 years of gas sales to Asian buyers once it comes online after 2014.

But landowner disagreements and disputes have hampered the project.

A strike in August stopped construction for several weeks on the accommodation for 200 workers in Southern Highlands province.

In July, a tribal dispute erupted into a gun battle at PNG's main domestic airport, with police shooting the gunman; two innocent bystanders were wounded.

The disgruntled village chief, dressed like "Rambo" with an ammunition belt slung across his shoulder, opened fire on a rival clansman in the Port Moresby Airport car park.

The warring factions come from Moran, a lucrative site in Southern Highlands province, where a LNG site is located.

In February this year, construction at another site stopped when four coastal villagers near Port Moresby were killed in a feud over land ownership and LNG-related benefits.


(C) 2010 Asia Pulse Pte Ltd.


Related Project
PNG LNG Project
Facility Type: LNG Owner: ExxonMobil; Oil Search Limited; Santos; Nippon Oil Exploration; AGL; MRDC); Eda Oil
Scope: New Construction Location: Port Moresby Papua New Guinea