Port Moresby, 8:00am: Preliminary assessments by ExxonMobil PNG Limited on damage to PNG LNG facilities caused by the 7.5 magnitude earthquake in the Highlands on 26 February indicate that it may take approximately eight weeks to repair and restore production.
ExxonMobil PNG managing director Andrew Barry said the company withstood the earthquake extremely well because of the world-class design and construction of the facilities and the quick response by its staff.
“The initial rapid response by our well-trained workforce, coupled with controlled emergency shut-down systems, safely shut in our facilities, minimizing damage to equipment and ensuring there was no release of hydrocarbons,” Barry said.
“Most importantly, we were able to quickly account for all of our employees and contractors at our facilities and confirm that everyone was safe. Nearly 300 non-essential personnel were subsequently evacuated as quickly as possible.”
Work at the Hides Gas Conditioning Plant has turned to restoring camp and associated facilities.
“We have assembled a team of technical experts from ExxonMobil’s global workforce to help the local team complete damage evaluations and restore production,” Barry said. “It is very important that we recover as quickly as possible to restore normalcy for our workforce, help our nearby communities to recover and contribute important revenue for the country.”
While the gas conditioning plant was safely shut in, there has been some damage to various pieces of equipment and foundation supports that will need to be inspected and repaired. Initial visual inspections of the major processing equipment indicate that they have not been significantly impacted.
Surveillance of the pipeline conducted on 28 February confirmed it has not been damaged.
The wells remain safely shut in. A detailed inspection of some well pads has been hampered by earthquake-related impacts to the roads. It is hoped this work can be completed within the next week.
Komo airfield will remain closed. Options are being developed to return the airfield to service as soon as possible.
ExxonMobil PNG has also brought forward scheduled maintenance activity at the LNG plant and has redeployed maintenance and support staff from the Hides gas conditioning plant to assist.
ExxonMobil PNG’s parent company Exxon Mobil Corporation has announced US$1 million (nearly PGK3.5 million) to the humanitarian relief effort to assist communities affected by the earthquake. This is in addition to the on-the-ground support ExxonMobil PNG is providing to relief agencies to help them rapidly assess priority needs and position and distribute resources to areas in the greatest need.
“This is an unprecedented event for the country and ExxonMobil PNG. I am extremely proud of the way our workforce has responded. Their professionalism and resilience is inspiring,” Barry said. “We are continuing to work with our impacted staff to ensure they have the support they need to help them recover from this event.
“We look forward to restoring our operations to production as quickly as possible and once again showcasing what this country can achieve.”
1 March 2018
Highlands earthquake update #3 - ExxonMobil facilitates response assessments by relief agencies
Port Moresby 5:00pm: ExxonMobil PNG Limited, operator of PNG LNG, today led a team of emergency assessment and relief personnel in a visit to the earthquake affected area near the Hides Gas Conditioning Plant in the Hela Province.
The team of 10 made one of the first visits possible to the area since the earthquake. On board the ExxonMobil PNG-chartered helicopter were company representatives, disaster assessors from international aid agencies and representatives of relief organisations including international church groups.
Representatives included The United Church, The Salvation Army, the International Organisation for Migration, the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
A priority for the group was to rapidly assess the level of damage, the immediate needs of those affected, and how resources can be mobilised and local health centres supported.
Anticipating some of the expected resource needs, the team delivered some basic essentials such as shelter, water and sanitation support to the Para Clinic.
In addition, ExxonMobil Managing Director Andrew Barry and senior management flew over the impacted area near its facilities and visited the Hides Gas Conditioning Plant to speak with staff and inspect damage to facilities.
“We are deeply saddened by the loss of life, injury and damage this natural event has caused in our project area communities and people in the broader Highlands region,” said Andrew Barry, ExxonMobil PNG managing director.
“We are using our resources to support relief agencies to assess the priority needs of the affected communities. As we become more aware of the extent of the impact of the earthquake, we can make more informed decisions about ongoing needs in communities,” he said.
Earlier this week ExxonMobil PNG advised that its facilities, including the Hides Gas Conditioning Plant and Hides well pads in Hela Province, were safely shut down following the earthquake.
Evacuation of non-essential personnel from the Hides Gas Conditioning Plant has been completed with specialist engineers flown to Hides to join remaining personnel on site to assist with damage and repair assessments.
Surveillance of the pipeline on Wednesday 28 Feb confirmed it has not been damaged.
A full assessment of the damage caused by the earthquake is expected to take time, particularly given the damage to roads and other infrastructure.
Further information will be provided when available.
27 February 2018
Highlands earthquake update #2
ExxonMobil PNG Limited is continuing to manage the impacts to its facilities of the 7.5 magnitude earthquake in the Highlands on Monday 26 February.
The two LNG trains at the PNG LNG plant near Port Moresby have been safely shut down following yesterday’s shut down of the Hides Gas Conditioning Plant and Hides well pads in Hela Province. We are continuing to work with our customers to minimise the impact.
Evacuation of non-essential personnel from the Hides Conditioning Plant will continue today. Specialist engineers are also flying into Hides to join remaining personnel on site to assist with damage and repair assessments. A full assessment of the impact of the earthquake on the Company’s Highlands facilities is likely to take time, and will be impacted by damage to roads and other infrastructure.
The Komo airfield has sustained damage and will remain closed until further notice.
Communications continue to be one of the most significant challenges.
“We are deeply saddened by the damage this natural event has caused to the people in the Highlands provinces,” said Andrew Barry, ExxonMobil PNG managing director. “We are continuing to try and re-establish communications with our nearby communities to understand the broader impacts. We are working closely with the National Disaster Centre, aid agencies and our community partners to help ensure any information is shared and relief plans are a coordinated effort.”
Further information will be provided when available.
26 February 2018
Highlands earthquake update #1
ExxonMobil PNG Limited is pleased to confirm all employees and staff are safe and accounted for following a magnitude 7.5 earthquake in the Highlands at approximately 3:40am today.
We have activated our emergency response plan and are working to mobilise support, as soon as it is safe to do so.
We are continuing to assess damage to our facilities in Southern Highlands and Hela Provinces. The Hides Gas Conditioning Plant has been safely shut down and our wellpads have been shut in as a precaution until full assessments can be completed.
Preliminary reports from the Hides Gas Conditioning Plant indicate the administration buildings, living quarters and the mess hall have sustained damage. Flights into the Komo airfield have also been suspended until we are able to survey the runway.
The safety and security of our employees and contractors is a top priority. Due to the damage to the Hides camp quarters and continuing aftershocks, ExxonMobil PNG is putting plans in place to evacuate non-essential staff.
We are also concerned about the impact the earthquake is having on our nearby communities. While telephone communications have been impacted in the region, we are working with aid agencies and our community partners to better understand damage in the local area.
We will provide further updates as more information is available.