Home > Corruption, Human rights, LNG, Papua New Guinea > Papua New Guineans missing out big-time in LNG wages

Papua New Guineans missing out big-time in LNG wages

February 19, 2012 Leave a comment Go to comments

PNG Industry News, via LNG Watch

EXPATS in the oil and gas game in Papua New Guinea are making more money than anywhere else in the world, according to the results of Hays’ 2012 salary guide. But PNG nationals are among the lowest paid.

The average annual wage for petroleum-working expats in PNG was $US189,000 ($A176,000) – the highest for this category out of the 53 countries in the study.

Australia has the most LNG-related construction work going on, and the petroleum expats there came in second place with an average wage of $173,100.

While the Australian-born petroleum workers in their home country received a smaller average annual wage of $164,000 – PNG nationals in PNG’s oil and gas realm were only earning an average of $29,600.

The wage level in this category was significantly below other countries with applicable results, with only locals in war-torn Sudan doing worse with an average annual wage that was $400 lower.

The Philippines has become a haven for outsourced call centres, but even its locally born oil and gas workers were receiving an average wage of $37,100, while local Iraqi oilies are earning an average of $36,900 in their risky nation.

Other top countries for high average expat oil and gas worker annual salaries include Trinidad and Tobago ($162,400), Indonesia ($157,200), Denmark ($154,400) and Vietnam ($151,900).

Oil-rich Norway was one of the few countries where the locals earned more than the expats with an impressive average wage of $180,300.

The survey had more than 14,400 respondents, including more than 1200 who work with a “global super major”

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  1. Fred Dagg
    February 19, 2012 at 4:38 pm

    Of course that is the pattern in PNG. The only way an expat can get a work visa is to be a highly qualified specialist, or a senior manager, and so highly paid. There are no low paid expats here. All other positions are reserved for PNGeans. In Australia, or Norway, all jobs, highly paid and less highly paid, are done by Australians or Norwegians or whatever. In PNG, LNG expats employed by Exxon come from all over the world: Russia, Bolivia, Columbia, Canada, Lebanon, South Africa, Nigeria, USA, Australian, NZ and so on. Exxon will pick up the best performing and best qualified PNGeans and take them overseas to their next project, where they will be “expats”, just as highly qualified PNG pilots fly for international airlines overseas, where they are “expats”. Go easy on the conspiracy theories.

    • John
      February 20, 2012 at 5:35 am

      There are a number of factors contributing to the reason why an expat in PNG working for the largest company in the world would make an annual salary with such a discrepancy in earnings compared to the average local salary. PNG law dictates that certain jobs, in this case, much of the labour/menial labour are reserved for PNG citizens. Labour jobs just don’t ever seem to pay more than administrative jobs. Secondly, the skill set requirements for a person considered by a company for repatriation are higher than the local labour pool can accommodate. Repatriated workers also receive added compensation and benefits for lifestyle adjustments as an incentive to leave their home country. Of course there are more examples, but I understand why an expat would make more money….also because this trend is not limited to PNG, it can be concluded that it is INDUSTRY NORM. Companies like Exxon-Mobil would prioritise efficiency in their operation, and high expat wages are a reflection of this.

    • February 20, 2012 at 7:50 am

      Yeah right, Fred. All low-paid jobs are reserved for PNGuineans-like the POM tucker shops, the Madang markets, etc all filled by Chinese!

  2. Slipknot
    February 20, 2012 at 6:53 am

    These is no conspiracy about this. This is the reality of the situation on the ground here. The lng project has and continuously said to deliver so much but in reality it has not llived up to expectations. What has been delivered is just the business as usual benefits. Nothing new in many countries of the world. Now that early works are winding down, many pngians will find themselves out of jobs. The project companies, the government, subcontractors and expatriates have bullied the people and there is no doubt there will be an uprising.

  3. Hellatok
    April 26, 2012 at 1:24 pm

    LNG should be hiring PNG coz its suppose to benefit the country and not other expatriates…

  4. joeblow
    October 27, 2012 at 12:06 pm

    Ha Ha Ha you people have no idea

  5. February 23, 2013 at 12:41 pm

    It would seem that some of those who earn the big money in PNG believe that they have the right to be paid for their so called skills and what they bring (or profess to bring) to the country who’s resources they exploit… Companies exploiting countries around the world should be held to account and maid to pay for what they take and part of that payment should be made directly to the indigenous people who may have claim to the areas in which the resources are being mined and processed.

    Workers earning nothing more than survival wages in their own country while others are earning hundreds of thousands of dollars cannot and should not be tolerated. PNG Workers deserve respect and recognition as do all workers around the world…

    • February 10, 2014 at 5:07 pm

      Tony.. That’s the Truth..

  6. f-kay
    February 26, 2013 at 7:10 pm

    LET’s face it whether we like it or not. Because, and it is a BIG because, no one is going to do anything about it. Politicians won’t because the moment they want to consider a raise in their salaries, everyone rushes in at the same time and tries to shoot them down.

    Earnings were disparate in colonial times, post colonial times and since we’ve been independent since 1975. The dye was cast before the first mine was open, before LNG and it’s as if we defaulted on our selves by accepting that there is parity in disparity when it came to wages – the only difference was, and still is, whether you are a local or an expatriate.

    The Hay Group has done numerous studies of this at the invitation of PNG. All they do is perpetuate the disparity by advising that some ground has to be made up by bringing in some parity in the local wage structure. BUT they never address the differences between the earnings or the earning power of expatriates vis-a-vis locals. May be because it does not apply.

    I think Fred Dagg has shone some relevant light on this.

    It’s a bit like, we will forever have to try and redeem ourselves because of the sins of Adam and Eve in Paradise.

  7. February 10, 2014 at 5:05 pm

    I believe that what foreigner company are doing is not right.
    They must employ most Papua New Guineans in the Executive level and Increase there salary. This our country and we deserve the best..

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