Oil Search incrementally returning to production

OIL Search expects to incrementally return its Papua New Guinea facilities to production after February's earthquake as it continues to coordinate relief efforts to support impacted communities in Hela, Southern Highlands and Western provinces.

  • Staff Reporter
  • 23 March 2018
  • 10:34
  • News
Oil Search incrementally returning to production

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All of Oil Search's more than 2000 staff and contractors located at more than 20 operating sites in the Highlands survived the earthquake, with no fatalities or serious injuries sustained, according to Oil Search managing director Peter Botten.
 
More than 600 non-essential staff were demobilised from various sites in the days following the earthquake.
 
The company expects the Gobe processing facility and export pipeline, which were largely undamaged, to be operational later this week.
 
The Oil Search-operated PNG LNG condensate handling facilities at the Central Processing Facility are ready to receive condensate as soon as production from the Hides gas conditioning plant comes back on-stream.
 
Production from the Kutubu complex fields will be progressively restored from late March as the CPF is brought back online.
 
The Agogo processing facility and the Moran 4, 6, 9 well pads, which are in the area most impacted by the earthquake, will require some repairs before production from the Moran field can restart.
 
"Engineering teams, located both on-and off-site, have been systematically reviewing the Oil Search operated wells, gathering systems, production facilities and other infrastructure," Botten said.
 
"While the processing facilities have been largely undamaged, highlighting their resilience, remedial work required to ensure the integrity and safety of our assets is now underway.
 
"We are making good progress restoring full services in our camps, such as telecommunications, water and sanitation, and ensuring road access to the operations is fully reopened. Our dedicated staff and contractors are continuing to do an outstanding job in challenging circumstances."
 
Oil Search has spent an initial US$5 million in cash and kind to address critical needs and has distributed relief supplies to more than 120,000 people in earthquake-affected areas in Hela and Southern Highlands, as well as parts of Gulf and Western provinces. 
 
The delivery of this aid has been challenging, because there remains limited road access to many villages due to landslides. 
 
Oil Search is one of the few organisations on the ground with the ability to acquire aid, respond with medical support and deliver to remote areas.
 
It said its helicopters haD flown more than 250 hours undertaking relief efforts.
 
"Since the quake, Oil Search helicopters have made more than 125 supply drops to villages and have moved 150 tonnes of material to the communities from the company's Moro airfield," Botten said. 
 
"This includes the delivery of over 10 tonnes of medical supplies on behalf of the PNG government to health facilities across Hela, Southern Highlands, Western and Gulf provinces. This would not have been possible without the support of Australian and New Zealand Defence Force aircraft that have been responsible for delivering aid supplies to the Moro facility."
 
Oil Search emergency response teams have visited many villages as a first responder, gathering initial information to prioritise relief efforts, as well as providing on-the-ground medical treatment and delivering supplies. 
 
According to Botten, the company's assessment has shown that a significant number of villages are experiencing food shortages, with gardens destroyed and water supplies contaminated by sediment and debris. Many homes and types of infrastructure, including roads, schools and health facilities, have also been damaged or destroyed.
 
"We are doing everything we can to support the emergency response, but it is now essential that we start to plan for the longer term and look at how we can help communities get back on their feet as soon as possible," he said.
 
"The key needs include re-establishing gardens, providing safe water and sanitation facilities, so that disease outbreaks can be prevented, and repairing or rebuilding houses, roads and infrastructure. 
 
"We also need to ensure health facilities and schools can re-open safely and to address emerging mental health issues."
 
Oil Search has been assisted in their efforts by the PNG government-owned Mineral Resources Development Company, the Missionary Aviation Fellowship and ExxonMobil.

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