China to Shut Mines, Oil Wells, Plants, After Quake
China ordered coal mines, chemicalplants and oil and gas wells to halt production in areas affectedby the country's strongest earthquake in 58 years to avoidfurther damage and casualties.
Companies must evacuate workers and can't resume outputuntil conditions allow for safe operations, the Beijing-basedState Administration of Work Safety said on its Web site today.PetroChina Co. and China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. are amongcompanies operating in Sichuan province, where yesterday's 7.9magnitude temblor was focused.
PetroChina, which has natural gas production and piped-gasoperations in Sichuan, has adopted ``emergency controllingmeasures'' to ensure safety at its plants, company spokesman MaoZefeng said by mobile phone. He declined to comment on whetherthe company will shut its natural gas wells and the extent towhich production may be affected.
The earthquake, which killed almost 10,000 people, damagedpower plants and transmission lines and may cut the nation'senergy demand. About 5.5 gigawatts, almost 1 percent of China'sgeneration capacity, were idled in Sichuan and Shaanxi provinces,the official Xinhua News Agency said yesterday, citing data fromState Grid Corp. of China. Sichuan lost 4 gigawatts of capacity.