TEMPO.CO, Jakarta- The House of Representatives' [DPR] Commission VII for the fields of energy, mineral resources, research and technology is holding a work meeting today, April 16. The meeting will discuss the oil spill in Balikpapan Bay, East Kalimantan, Commission VII chairman Gus Irawan Pasaribu said.
The Commission demands related parties hold responsibility for the incident. The meeting was scheduled to begin at 10:00 in the morning, but was delayed by three hours to 13:25.
The meeting was also attended by the Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya Bakar, Energy and Mineral Resources Deputy Minister Arcandra Tahar, Pertamina president director Elia Massa Manik and BPH Migas chief M. Fanshurullah Asa.
The oil spill in Balikpapan Bay was first discovered in the early hours of March 31, 2018. At 10:30 a.m. the same day, fire started blazing in the middle of the ocean, when officers were cleaning the waters.
Pertamina said the oil spill was due to a broken pipe in the Lawe-lawe Terminal-Balikpapan Refinery pipeline, which were located 20-25 meters beneath the sea level.
Until April 8, the oil leak is estimated to have contaminated an area of 7,000 hectares. About 60 kilometers of the coast lines in Balikpapan and North Penajam Pasir are also polluted.
Meanwhile, the fire from the oil spill has claimed five lives and injured others.
The Environment and Forestry has asked Pertamina to conduct air surveillance in affected areas, especially residential areas on the coast lines. Additionally, the volatile organic compounds (VOC) released to the atmosphere bring a sharp odor that could be dangerous to locals' health.
LANI DIANA WIJAYA