Puma Energy refutes claims of oil spill effects

Puma Energy has refuted claims that coastal villages far from Port Moresby have been affected by the oil spill from a raptured pipeline.

General Manager Strategy and External Affairs, Hulala Tokome (pictured), told Loop PNG  that a comprehensive land, air and sea survey has evaluated the extent of the oil spill spread from a sub-sea hose connected to the pipeline which feeds its Kanudi Terminal facility.

“We’re basically now in our last phase of clean up mode now within Tatana and Pari Village. Because all the other areas have been, when I say other areas, I mean Manubada, Vabukori and Ela Beach, those were the main affected areas. So up to Pari Village that’s where the clean up is happening and they’re pretty much complete by the next two days in terms of the clean up.”

“We’ve had land crew, we’ve also had sea crew, and also, air crew. All that  area has been pretty much surveyed, there’s no signs of any oil slick down that way. So where its ended is down at Pari Village, Pyramid Point,” Tokome said confidently.

Loop PNG received reports that locals along the coast within the radius starting from Gabagaba all the way to Porebada had come in contact with the oil slick.

Tokome says since the oil spill Puma energy had initiated a clean up response with local communities affected and engaged the assistance of state authorities.

He said the company has taken a responsible approach to clean up the debris from the oil spill.

“The thing is the community people had been very cooperative in terms of being able to, because its they themselves who we’ve gone and engaged with in terms of doing the clean up.

“We’ve also engaged with the local authorities, you know, NMSA, CEPA, PNG Ports, PNG Department of Petroleum and Energy, Department of Labour through he Occupational Health and Safety Division, so all those people have been involved since day one.

“And we’ve given updates on a daily basis, so in terms of our engagement with the local community has been really good and very supportive so I’d like to commend the local community to be part of that.

“It was a small volume of product, but regardless of the size we’ve been responsible in terms of making sure that its cleaned up,” he said.

Puma Energy has flown in independent investigators to examine the incident. They will be assisted by key State authorities in the investigation.

The company insisted during a media conference two weeks ago that the amount of oil product is too little to cause any significant environmental damage.