Pipeline Ruptures on BP's Pagerungan Field

BP may shut down its gas production from the Pagerungan field on Besar Island due to a rupture in the 440-kilometer pipeline. Besar Island is located offshore the eastern coast of Java. BP is the operator of the field and Pertamina is the operator of the pipeline. The 28-inch pipeline has a capacity of 600 million cubic feet of gas per day and is currently transporting 200 million cubic feet of gas per day. BP said in a statement that the pipeline has a "risk of failure well beyond any international standards" because of what the company calls excessive free span lengths in the subsea section and sand bed erosion brought about by strong sea currents. "In the event of pipeline failure there is a risk of loss of life due to fire and explosion or sinking of a vessel passing over the pipeline rupture point," BP said.

The Indonesian government is establishing a restricted zone around the pipeline four miles wide and 40 miles long to prevent such an event, and the Indonesian navy will enforce the zone. Shipping from Port Surabaya should not be affected by this restriction. BP said that if this measure by the government fails to prevent marine traffic from transiting over the pipeline, it will halt production from the field to ensure public safety.