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2009 Montara Oil Spill; Thai-based Firm Agrees to Pay Rp2tn Compensation

24 November 2022 18:26 WIB

TEMPO.CO, JakartaThailand-based oil company PTT Exploration and Production (PTTEP) has agreed to pay US$129 million or equal to Rp2 trillion in compensation for the Montara oil spill in the Timor Sea, East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) back in 2009. This is confirmed by Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan.

“I want everything to be counted. This US$129 million can later be managed properly and can be channeled to the fishermen, directly transferred to their account,” said Luhut in a press conference in Jakarta, Thursday, November 24, 2022.

The figure of Rp2 trillion is compensation for fishermen and seaweed farmers affected by the oil spill, excluding the settlement for environmental damage.

Each fisherman will receive around AU$ 6,000-7,000, as stated by the head of the Montara Task Force Team, Purbaya Yudhi Sadewa. “We are trying to ask for a raise.”

Luhut also asserted that efforts to resolve the Montara case will continue albeit the Indonesian government changed leadership. Indonesian people, he added, must get proper compensation.

“Because protecting the environment and the people are the government's job, whoever the government is,” Luhut remarked.

He claimed that he was annoyed by the ongoing oil spill case that has not been resolved to date. “It should have been ended before the era of President Jokowi,” he said.

Montara Oil Spill Occurs in 2009

The oil spill from the Montara wellhead platform in the West Block Atlas Timor Sea of Australia's waters occurred on August 21, 2009, contaminating 90,000 square kilometers of the Timor Sea. 

At least 85 percent of oil spills were carried by winds and sea waves into Indonesian waters, causing significant damage to the coastal and marine environment in 13 districts in NTT. As a result, fishermen and seaweed farmers lost their livelihoods.

As many as 15,000 seaweed farmers and fishermen in NTT filed a class action lawsuit against PTTEP in an Australian court which then ruled in favor of the Indonesian plaintiffs on March 19, 2021, and on October 25, 2021.

DEFARA DHANYA PARAMITHA

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