Sakhalin Energy: Doesn't See Tsunami Threat So Far

MOSCOW, Nov 15, 2006 (Dow Jones Newsires)

The Sakhalin Energy Ltd. international oil and gas consortium said Wednesday that its operations hadn't been impacted by a massive offshore earthquake that hit the nearby Kuril Islands north of Japan Wednesday.

The company said that for the moment it didn't see any danger to its operations from a tsunami warning issued in nearby Japan, and that it didn't plan to temporarily stop work.

Residents along Japan's Pacific coast have been warned of an impending tsunami after the earthquake.

Sakhalin Energy operates an offshore oil platform off Sakhalin Island's pacific coast and is working to expand its operations.

A tsunami warning was also later issued by Russian officials on Sakhalin Island, which is located off Russia's Pacific coast.

Sakhalin Energy spokesman Ivan Chernyakhovsky said the company had been constructed to withstand significant seismic activity.

The earthquake struck at 1115 GMT and had a preliminary magnitude of 8.1, according to Japan's Meteorological Agency.

"We don't see any particular threat now," Chernyakhovsky said. "Seismically, Sakhalin is not a calm place, it's quite active. That's been taken into account," Chernyakhovsky said. "All our facilities are designed and constructed to withstand serious earthquakes. We've got all the procedures and plans ready in case something happens."

A tsunami of about 2 meters or more could hit the Pacific coast of Japan's northernmost island of Hokkaido and main island of Honshu after 1210 GMT, the agency said, adding that residents along the coast should flee to higher ground.

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