Image: Crevice appearing in the ground in the aftermath of the Earthquake
No casualties have been reported at Oil and gas project sites this morning following a 7.5 magnitude earthquake.
According to the US Geological survey, the earthquake’s epicentre was 89 kilometres south-south-west of Porgera in the Enga Province.
ExxonMobil and Oil Search, who have operations in neighbouring Southern Highlands and Hela Provinces, confirmed a temporary halt to their operations this morning.
ExxonMobil PNG, in a brief note, confirmed no casualties at its operations in Hides, Hela Province.
“All of ExxonMobil PNG Limited’s employees and contractors at its Hides facilities have been accounted for and we are pleased to report they are all safe.
As a precaution, ExxonMobil PNG Limited has shut in its Hides Gas Conditioning Plant to assess any damages to its facilities.”
Oil Search, which operates oil fields in Southern Highlands Province, also reported several aftershocks after the initial quake at 3:44am local time.
“Oil Search’s primary concern is the safety of our employees and contractors. The Company is presently confirming that all personnel have been accounted for. No injuries have been reported so far.
As a precautionary measure and in order to assess any damage to facilities, Oil Search’s production operations in the PNG Highlands are in the process of being shut-down. ExxonMobil PNG Ltd has confirmed that the PNG LNG facility at Hides has also been safely shut down.
We are also monitoring the impact on people in our local communities and will assist the relevant authorities, where possible.”
More updates will follow as they become available.