Stefanno Reinard Sulaiman, Jakarta – At least 10 villages and seven beaches in West Java have been affected by the oil spill from state energy giant Pertamina's Offshore North West Java (ONWJ) block that has been polluting the sea for more than two weeks.
The Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry's acting director general for oil and gas Djoko Siswanto said in Jakarta on Monday that the affected villages were spread across Karawang and Bekasi regencies.
"According to data [from Pertamina], the oil spill has now followed the wind to the west, about 84 kilometers [from the source of the spill]. There are eight effected villages in Karawang and the rest are in Bekasi," he said.
Djoko further said the US well control company Boots & Coots, which is affiliated to the US well service contractor Halliburton, had arrived and was expected to start the process of closing down the damaged well with a cement injection.
Halliburton is Pertamina's subcontractor for the operation of the YY project, one of its three wells or known as the YYA-1 well. It is the source of the oil and gas spill that began on July 12.
Dwi Soetjipto, the Upstream Oil and Gas Regulatory Task Force (SKK Migas) chairman, said Monday that the government's priorities were to minimize its environmental impact and close the damaged well soon.
"Our target is that the spill won't reach the beach by increasing the number of oil boom [a tool to isolate the oil spill in the sea]. And then to close down immediately the broken well," he said.
Data from Pertamina further noted that the company had collected 17,830 sacks of oil-contaminated sand and the total oil boom had stretched 1,430 meters.
Pertamina said it would need at least three months to overcome the environmental impacts of the oil spills. (hen)