Government to take legal action against drillers of illegal oil well after fire
Stefanno R. Sulaiman and Gemma Holliani Cahya
The Jakarta Post
The government plans to take legal actions against parties responsible for an oil well fire in Aceh on Wednesday morning, said Energy and Mineral Resources Minister spokesman Agung Pribadi.
Ten people were killed in the blaze, which occurred in Pasir Putih village, Ranto Peureulak subdistrict, East Aceh.
“This is an illegal [well]. So, we will take legal action in collaboration with the local law enforcement,” Agung told journalists on Wednesday.
The illegal, 250-meters-deep oil well had been drilled on land belonging to state-owned oil and gas company Pertamina.
The ministry’s oil and gas directorate general and Pertamina have sent a team to Pasar Putih to investigate the incident, Agung said.
At the time of writing, firefighters have still been unable to extinguish the fire.
This is the second incident this month involving crude oil that has triggered an environmental disaster.
On March 31, around 40,000 barrels of Pertamina crude oil leaded from one of the company’s underwater pipelines in Balikpapan Bay, East Kalimantan, causing a fire that killed five fishermen and prompted authorities to declare an emergency status. (ebf)
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