3-4-18 5:44 PM EST | Email Article

By Rhiannon Hoyle


SYDNEY--Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) said it may take roughly eight weeks to restart production at natural-gas facilities in Papua New Guinea, as it repairs damage caused by a Feb. 26 earthquake.

The energy company and its partners halted both production lines at a liquefied natural gas operation outside the capital of Port Moresby after shutting a gas-conditioning plant in the Highlands region where the magnitude 7.5 earthquake struck.

"We have assembled a team of technical experts from ExxonMobil's global workforce to help the local team complete damage evaluations and restore production," Andrew Barry, managing director of ExxonMobil PNG, said.

Mr. Barry said work at the Hides Gas Conditioning Plant has turned to restoring the camp and associated facilities. Initial visual inspections suggest the major processing equipment at the site hasn't been significantly damaged, ExxonMobil said in a statement.

Gas, condensate and water are separated at the Hides plant before being piped to other facilities. The gas is transported along a roughly 430-mile pipeline to the LNG plant near Port Moresby, where is it is chilled to a liquid for shipping.

The Komo airfield, built to bring equipment and workers to the Hides plant, remains closed. "Options are being developed to return the airfield to service as soon as possible," ExxonMobil said.

Oil Search Ltd. (OSH.AU) has a 29% stake Exxon's US$19 billion PNG LNG project and Santos Ltd. (STO.AU) has a 13.5% interest.


- Write to Rhiannon Hoyle at rhiannon.hoyle@wsj.com


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

March 04, 2018 17:44 ET (22:44 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2018 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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