Earthquake Watch: Refineries, O&G installations operating normally in Venezuela and Trinidad

Epicenter - 7.3-magnitude earthquake hits Venezuela. August 21, 2018.

In wake of a major earthquake measuring 7.3 in magnitude which struck Venezuela’s eastern coast at 5:31 pm on Tuesday, reports indicate that the country’s oil refineries and oil fields were operating normally.

Officials said there were no immediate reports of injuries following the quake and two sources at state oil company PDVSA [PDVSA.UL] told Reuters the OPEC member’s refineries and oil fields were operating normally. PDVSA did not immediately comment.

Effects of the tremor – one of Venezuela’s strongest ever – was felt in neighboring Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, Colombia, St. Lucia and Grenada, according to reports.

No damage to oil and gas installations have been reported in Trinidad and no fatalities have been recorded in any of the locations, including Venezuela.

Buildings shook in Guyana while in Trinidad and Tobago; the aftershocks left the towns of Arima and Carenage without electricity, according to Trinidad and Tobago Newsday.

United States Geological Survey geophysicist Jessica Turner said the quake’s depth, 123 kilometres below the surface, would have dampened some of the shaking.

“A 7.3 magnitude quake is going to cause some damage, particularly as in this area, structures are vulnerable. The earth is able to absorb some of the energy, but a 7.3 quake produces a lot of energy,” she said.

The US Pacific Tsunami Center cancelled an earlier warning of a possible tsunami along the coast near the epicentre, some 190 kilometres from Cumana.