23 Aug 2006

PNG villagers report fish deaths after oil spill

6:28 pm on 23 August 2006

Papua New Guinea villagers say an oil spill in the Gulf of Papua, off the northern tip of the Great Barrier Reef, has killed fish and turtles.

The oil and gas exploration and development company Oil Search says the spill of 6,700 litres occurred two weeks ago at an offshore oil loading platform, but denies it has caused any environmental damage.

Oil Search says there was a leak of 40 barrels of oil but a spill response plan was initiated and heavy seas aided in the quick dispersal and evaporation of the light crude.

It says Oil Search has conducted a number of reconnaissance flights and community consultations to confirm that oil had not reached shore.

The company says it has not seen any physical evidence to confirm the rumours that there have been any impacts.