Jakarta. The Indonesian government has urged Thailand-based oil company PTT Exploration and Production, or PTTEP, to provide compensation regarding Montara oil spill in the Timor Sea, which has affected the area for the past eight years.
Jasmin Ragil Utomo, director of dispute settlements at the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, said the government is waiting for "real action" from PTTEP, which it claims has polluted the waters of East Nusa Tenggara and causing the destruction of seaweed crops in the region and killing off fish populations.
On Wednesday (20/12), both PTTEP and the Ministry of Environment and Forestry attended the first mediation session held at the Central Jakarta District Court.
The government has urged the company to provide compensation for the environmental damage caused by the oil spill, which is estimated at Rp 23 trillion ($1.6 billion).
"What we have expected is not only the company’s initiative by attending the trial, but also its concrete efforts," Ragil said in a statement that was received by the Jakarta Globe on Thursday from the Coordinating Ministry of Maritime Affairs.
According to the statement, judge Wiwiek Suharton urged the legal team at PTTEP to prepare concepts or proposals relevant to the government's lawsuit for the second mediation, which will be held on Jan. 16, 2018.
"This is important, so that at the time of the next mediation will be more efficient," Wiwiek said.
PTTEP is not available for comment at this moment.
In August 2009, an explosion rocked a rig operated by PTTEP Australasia, causing crude oil and gas to spill into the surrounding waters.
The leak continued for 74 days before the company managed to pump mud into a relief well.