Papua New Guinea national oil company Kumul Petroleum said today it is scaling back operations due to a State of Emergency declared by the PNG government.

"The health, safety and wellbeing of our staff is of paramount importance and as such all non-essential staff and personnel have been asked to comply with the government directive," said Kumul Petroleum managing director Wapu Sonk.

Workers have been sent home and Kumul's business continuity management plan is in place.

"We wish you all take care and stay safe during this period, and urge everyone to adhere to the government requests and most importantly to observe good hygiene practices," added Wonk.

Kumul Petroleum has non-operating interests in a number of fields, including the state’s 16.57% interest in the PNG liquefied natural gas project.

It also owns equity in a host of undeveloped discoveries including Stanley, Kimu, Barikewa and Ubuntu.

PNG has one confirmed case of Covid-19.

PNG Prime Minister James Marape said the 14-day state of emergency will enable the government to come up with a detailed management strategy.

"It is only a 14-day SOE. In between shops will open, cargo ships and trucks will operate, we have enough food supply in country for three months, we ask the people back home to do gardening and the government can buy from you if the need arises," said Marape.