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Indonesia offshore oil leak to be plugged soon

24 September 2019

Indonesia’s state oil and gas company PT Pertamina said on September 23 that it had stopped an underwater leak from an oil well off West Java and would permanently plug the well next week.

Representative image: Shutterstock
Representative image: Shutterstock

This comes after more than two months of spillages from the YYA-1 well in Pertamina’s Offshore North West Java (ONWJ) block, which started on July 12 and was declared an emergency three days later. An environmental group quoted by Reuters said the spill has affected at least 13 villages and threatened the livelihoods and health of thousands of people.

More than 42,000 barrels of oil have been recovered offshore since the spill, Taufik Adityawarman, a Pertamina official said, as well as 5.7 million bags of mixed sand and oil from beaches.

According to the Jakarta Post, Pertamina upstream director Dharmawan Samsu said that the company spent up to $10 million to drill a relief well and suppress the flow with heavy liquids.

The oil spill was caused by a gas well kick – the release of gas caused by low pressure in a wellbore – on July 12 that worsened two days later. The incident occurred beneath the Offshore North West Java (ONWJ) platform, located 2 kilometres north of Karawang.

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