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October 25, 2021
Business News

Oil Search wins 2018 Platts Global Energy Award for its Response in Deadly 7.5 Earthquake in PNG Highlands

Oil Search has won the 2018 Platts Global Energy Award for Corporate Social Responsibility at a gala event in New York.

The award recognised Oil Search’s efforts following the devastating earthquake that struck the Papua New Guinea highlands in February – affecting around 544,000 people. As a first responder to the unfolding crisis, the company provided facilities, people and equipment to help alleviate the critical shortage of relief supplies to stranded communities.

On 26 February 2018, a magnitude 7.5 earthquake struck in the PNG Highlands, followed by a series of aftershocks.

In addition to the significant activity being undertaken to restore vital infrastructure and urgently provide much needed supplies to communities, Oil Search donated K16 million (USD 5 million) in cash and kind to support disaster relief efforts in Hela and Southern Highlands Provinces.

Photo credit: EMTEK 'Last Mile' Documentary: Food supplies arriving into the earthquake struck areas. Photo credit: EMTEK 'Last Mile' Documentary: Food and relief supplies arriving in the affected areas.Photo credit: EMTEK 'Last Mile' Documentary: Local people mostly children waiting on relief supplies.

The United Nations estimates that Oil Search delivered about 80 per cent of total food supplies to affected areas in the first four weeks following the earthquake.

In accepting the award, Oil Search Managing Director, Peter Botten, said the earthquake struck at the very heart of the company.

“Not only were many of our local communities completely cut off from receiving aid, but many of our people were cut off from their families and the communities they grew up in. Local communities were without food, water and shelter. We were deeply concerned for their welfare and knew we could be a life line for delivering emergency relief.”

“Our employees and contractors stood strong together – performing tasks outside their normal roles to protect our people, environment and facilities and to deliver the earliest possible return to safe, sustainable and reliable operations.
“This award is recognition of the many people who returned to site or chose to stay behind – working long hours to rebuild camps and deliver emergency relief despite the ongoing threat of further aftershocks.” stated Peter Botten.

Photo credit: EMTEK 'Last Mile' Documentary: Homes destroyed - A young child stands in front of what is left of his home. Photo credit: EMTEK 'Last Mile' Documentary: Location map - Oil Search Managing Director, Peter Botten assessing a map for disaster relief. Photo credit: EMTEK 'Last Mile' Documentary: Team of workers from Oil Search at the earthquake site.

Oil Search and the Oil Search Foundation continue to work closely with the PNG Government and foreign aid organisations to restore basic needs like access to clean water, food and medicine whilst working with local villages to rebuild roads, housing and other infrastructure.

The scope of the early recovery plan included:
• Continuing to deliver activities with provincial health authorities to support regular health activities and joint work on earthquake recovery;
• Facilitating mobile health clinics into more than 40 communities across three provinces providing health services to more than 1,800 people;
• Supporting a vaccination program to help prevent disease outbreaks;
• Working with authorities to keep hospitals and medical centres open during civil unrest;
• Working with the Emergency Controller’s Office to address safe water supplies, improved sanitation and hygiene including supply and installation of new water tanks;
• Ongoing delivery of medical supplies and equipment;
• Leveraging public and private sector donations to support rebuilding, reparation, equipment replacement and services development; and
• Conducting damage assessments.

“As a proud PNG company, we are committed to PNG in good times and bad – PNG is our home so when our neighbours are in need, we lend a helping hand.” Peter Botten stated.

Source: Oil Search Limited

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