Sunday, October 25, 2009

growing restless....,

Bloomberg | An Exxon Mobil Corp. executive overseeing the company’s $15 billion liquefied-natural-gas project in Papua New Guinea was beaten and stomped by a mob of 50 people in a dispute over landowner contracts.

Noel Wright, Exxon Mobil’s development officer overseeing plans to build a gas-export complex in the South Pacific nation, has returned to “normal duties” after the Oct. 20 attack outside his hotel in the capital, Port Moresby, said Margaret Ross, a spokeswoman for the Irving, Texas-based company.

Ross declined to provide details on Wright’s injuries, which the Post-Courier newspaper in Port Moresby said were severe enough to require hospitalization. Wright was “severely punched” in the face, knocked to the pavement, kicked and stepped on during the incident, the newspaper reported on Oct. 21. The attackers’ attempt to haul Wright away in a waiting vehicle failed when police intervened, the Post-Courier said.

“The reported assault is under police investigation,” Ross said today in an e-mailed statement. “The PNG LNG project places a high priority on the safety and security of its personnel and facilities and has programs and measures in place to provide security and safeguards to protect its people and operations.”

The attack won’t deter Exxon Mobil, the world’s largest company by market value, from proceeding with the LNG project, Ross said. Exxon Mobil will adhere to plans to make a final investment decision by the end of December, she said.