Karawang Oil Spill; Pertamina Urged to Recover Ecosystem

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Markus Wisnu Murti

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  • Residents collect the oil spill of Pertamina on the shore of Cemarajaya Beach, Karawang, West Java, Wednesday, July 24, 2019. ANTARA

    Residents collect the oil spill of Pertamina on the shore of Cemarajaya Beach, Karawang, West Java, Wednesday, July 24, 2019. ANTARA

    TEMPO.CO, JakartaThe Indonesian Environmental Forum (Walhi) urged state-run oil and gas company Pertamina to completely recover the marine, coastal, and mangrove ecosystems affected by the oil spill at around PT Pertamina Hulu Energi's Offshore North West Java or PHE ONWJ block.

    “The oil spill in sea waters and the coastal area of Karawang threatens the source of life and natural sustainability,” said the forum’s executive director for West Java chapter, Meiki Paendong, in a written statement, Monday, July 29.

    He also demanded the corporate review its working procedures and equipment in other locations, such as Echo, Bravo, Mike, and Zulu.

    Based on the forum’s data per July 18, 2019, the oil contamination caused by negligence in drilling operations has affected 45.37 square kilometers of the sea. The data were obtained from ESA Sentinel-1 satellite that could be accessed by the public.

    The environment watchdog predicted that the affected area would likely stretch considering the source of the leak had yet to be dealt with. Besides, the oil spill was carried away by the wind to the western area up to Untung Jawa Island in Thousand Islands regency.

    “There are many reports from fishermen regarding oil spill that has reached to the eastern area of Thousand Islands,” said Walhi Jakarta executive director Tubagus Ahmad.

    Earlier reports suggested that Pertamina had continuously intensified its operation after the oil spill incident around ONWJ block by installing five Giant Octopus Skimmer and Static Oil Boom in Karawang, West Java. The company also dispatched dozens of vessels stretching layers of Dynamic Oil Boom to prevent the oil spill from spreading and being washed away to coastal areas.

    CAESAR AKBAR