Members of Pertamina's oil spill combat team install an oil boom in Karawang, West Java, on Thursday. (Antara Photo)

Jakarta, Pertamina Form Joint Team to Combat Oil Spill Threatening Thousand Islands District


AUGUST 02, 2019

Jakarta. The Jakarta provincial government and Pertamina have agreed to assemble a team to deal with crude oil that spilled from one of the state energy company's wells in Karawang, West Java, last month, and which reached the capital's Thousand Islands district.

"We want to make sure that people in Jakarta and West Java are not unduly affected by this unwanted incident," Anies said after a meeting with company officials at City Hall on Friday. 

The oil has already contaminated several islands north of Jakarta, including Untung Java, Damar, Damar Besar, Damar Kecil, Bidadari, Ayer, Rambut and Bokor. Fishermen have also reported a decrease in their regular catches. 

"The team will be led by the Thousand Island district head and Pertamina. They will move fast and they will start work immediately," Anies said. "The team will approach civilians, observe and directly act to identify problems and solve them; we will meet with fishermen, in particular."

Thousand Islands district head Husein Murad said the local government had already taken steps to deal with the oil spill.

"We mobilized every official in the environmental department and Pertamina to clean up the oil spill," he said.

Pertamina director Dharmawan Syamsu said the company would take full responsibility for the spill and that it has already deployed ships to prevent it from spreading.

"This is not a brief task; we are committed to completing it within six months," he said.

An estimated 3,000 barrels of oil have been seeping into the ocean each day since July 12, after a well-kick at a freshly drilled well about 2 kilometers offshore. The oil spill had spread to an area of more than 45 square kilometers by July 18, resulting in fishermen and shrimp farmers suffering major economic losses. 

The Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi) said it would assist affected residents and fishermen to file a lawsuit against Pertamina.