Govt Files Domestic, International Lawsuits to Settle Montara Oil Spill Case
1 April 2022 19:13 WIB
TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan said the government is pressing charges both domestically and internationally in the case of oil spill from the explosion of the Montara oil rig that polluted Timor Sea.
Luhut said in Friday’s Merdeka Barat 9 Forum the government was filing a domestic litigation due to the legal business agreement between PTTEP Australasia—a Thailand-based oil company that runs an office in Australia—and Indonesia.
“This is a legal matter between PTTEP Thailand and us, that is why we called for support from Australia to make this issue more transparent,” Luhut said.
The domestic lawsuit against the oil company would be spearheaded by the Environment and Forestry Ministry. The international lawsuit filed by the Law and Human Rights Ministry, meanwhile, is still afoot and the court ruled in favor of Indonesia in 2021. The case is now still progressing following an appeal filed by PTTEP Australasia with a trial slated for June 2022.
The explosion of the Montara oil refinery at the West Atlas Block of Timor Sea resulted in the leaking of some 30,000 barrels of crude oil into Timor Sea, spoiling the sea biota in the waters.
The impact of the oil spill, which lingers to date, has contaminated the Timor Sea resources and is detrimental to the economic livelihoods and environment of locals.
“So, we are filing a case in the country. I think it is processing, and the government will totally back this case up, because this affects our people. We will assist our witnesses and complete the case,” he said.
Luhut said President Jokowi had called for the settlement of the Montara oil spill case to fight for the interests of the people in East Nusa Tenggara (NTT). He added the government is preparing a legal umbrella in the form a presidential regulation to press charges against PTTEP Australasia domestically.