The government of Papua New Guinea has signed a benefits-sharing agreement with landowners, concerning the ExxonMobil Corp.-led Papua New Guinea LNG (PNG LNG) project.

The agreement is worth around $9.5m (Australian Dollar), over the life of the project and gives provincial governments and landholders a 7% stake in PNG LNG.

The central government will retain 12.5% interest, while it has also committed to a number of infrastructure projects, including the construction of a sealed major highway linking the Gulf of Papua to the country's north coast.

It will also seal the Gulf-Southern Highlands highway and invest in building the first phase of a Hela city development. Meanwhile, it was reported that China' Sinopec is negotiating to buy 2 million tones per year of LNG from the project.

The project comprises a two-train, 6.3 million tpy liquefaction plant near Port Moresby with gas sourced from various gas fields in the highlands, including Hides and possibly Juha.