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Jakarta Post

Leaking oil well to be plugged next week: Pertamina

  • Norman Harsono
    Norman Harsono

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Tue, September 24, 2019   /   01:42 pm
Leaking oil well to be plugged next week: Pertamina A local man cleans up an oil spill on a beach on Untung Jawa Island, Thousand Islands regency, Jakarta, on Sept. 3. The oil spill was caused by a leak in one of the wells owned by state-owned oil and gas company Pertamina at the Offshore North West Java (ONWJ) Block near Karawang, West Java. (JP/Donny Fernando)

Upstream oil and gas company Pertamina Hulu Energi (PHE), a subsidiary of state-owned energy company Pertamina, says it expects to permanently seal its leaking offshore oil well near Karawang regency, West Java, early next month.

“We estimate that by 10 a.m. on Oct. 1 – inshallah [God willing] – the well will be cemented and locked. If our drilling team works ahead of schedule, then alhamdulillah (thank God), but this is our hourly timeline,” said oil spill incident commander Taufik Adityawarman.

He told reporters in Jakarta on Monday that PHE’s relief well intercepted the leaking well on Sept. 21 and was pumping, up to Monday, a heavy liquid to suppress spurting fluids. 

Over the next eight days, PHE is to pump a second liquid into the leaking well that cements the heavy liquid and, thus, permanently plug the leak.

Taufik added that PHE had collected 42,000 barrels of oil from the sea and 5.74 million sacks of oil-and-sand mix from the shore by Sunday. The recovered oil is being stored in containers in Marunda subdistrict, North Jakarta.

“As technical experts, we want the oil to be recycled into the system but the ones who decide whether the substance is oil or toxic waste are our friends at the Environment and Forestry Ministry,” he said.

Pertamina upstream director Dharmawan Samsu said that the company spent between US$7.5 million and $10 million to drill the relief well.

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 kick occurred beneath the Offshore North West Java (ONWJ) platform, located 2 kilometers north of Karawang. The oil spill reached the Karwang, Bekasi and Thousand Islands regencies.