PNG earthquake forces closure of resources operations


ExxonMobil and Oil Search have shut down their liquefied natural gas (LNG) operations and facilities in Papua New Guinea after an earthquake hit the country’s Highlands this morning.

According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), the quake hit about 90km south-west of Porgera at a depth of 35km early this morning.

Oil Search confirmed that a magnitude 7.5 earthquake struck the PNG Highlands at 3.44am local time. A series of aftershocks were also registered, the company added.

“The company is presently confirming that all personnel have been accounted for. No injuries have been reported so far,” Oil Search said in an ASX announcement.

“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 has confirmed that the PNG LNG facility at Hides has also been safely shut down.”

Oil Search added it was monitoring the impact of the earthquake on local communities and would assist the relevant authorities where possible.