Jakarta seeks $2bn for PTTEP spill damage

Jakarta seeks $2bn for PTTEP spill damage

JAKARTA:The Indonesian government is seeking US$2 billion in compensation from Thailand's PTT EXploration and Production Plc (PTTEP) and its Australian unit for an oil spill in the Timor Sea nearly eight years ago, an official said on Friday.

Havas Oegroseno, deputy coordinating minister of maritime affairs, said the lawsuit was registered on Wednesday at the Central Jakarta District Court against PTTEP and PTTEP Australasia.

More than 400 barrels of oil per day flowed from the Montara well into the Timor Sea and stained the coasts of Indonesia and East Timor before mud pumped through a relief well shut off the deep-water spigot 11 weeks later.

Oegroseno described the civil lawsuit as "an effort to seek justice".

He told a news conference that the demand for compensation included $1.725 billion for environmental damage and $330 million for restoration work. He added that the environmental damage included 1,200 hectares of mangroves, 1,400 hectares of seagrass and 700 hectares of corals.

An independent review in Australia in 2011 blamed PTTEP and a lax regulator for the oil leak. The Montara spill occurred because the underwater cement barrier designed to prevent oil blowouts failed, it said.

Thousands of dead fish and clumps of oil were found drifting near Indonesia's coastline more than two months after the accident, said to have been the worst oil spill in the history of Australia's offshore petroleum industry.


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