PTTEP Attempting to Bring Montara Leak Under Control

Following the crude oil and gas leak incident which occurred on August 21, 2009 at the Montara development in the Timor Sea, PTTEP Australasia, a subsidiary of PTTEP, is acting quickly to disperse the oil slick in the sea and to bring the leak under control.

Mr. Anon Sirisaengtaksin, PTTEP CEO, said that the company is focusing its efforts on two issues. The first is to eliminate the oil slick and another is to control the well in order to stop the leak. The company is consulting with international experts in both fields. It is also working closely with the Australian Maritime Safely Authority (AMSA) and local authorities concerned to ensure that the work is done safely and with minimal environmental impact.
The company’s oil dispersant operation started with the use of C-130 Hercules aircraft to combat the oil slick by spraying chemical substance on it. After two flights, the company found that the result was quite satisfactory as the size of the oil slick had been visibly reduced. This was also helped by the fact that Montara crude is light oil which evaporates relatively easily. The oil slick which covers an area of 8 nautical miles long and 30 meters wide has not shown signs of expanding.

To control the well, the company is planning to drill a relief well that would intersect the existing well and stop its oil and gas flow. The West Triton is expected to mobilize from Singapore on Wednesday. The tow is expected to take approximately two weeks and drilling the relief well is expected to take approximately four weeks. The company has submitted the plan to the Government of Australia. Concurrently, the company is studying other methods to solve the problem based on its concern on safety and the effect on the environment.

After the oil and gas leak incident on August 21, 2009, all 69 personnel onboard were evacuated from West Atlas with no casualties.

Montara Development is located in the Timor Sea approximately 690 km west of Darwin in the Northern Territory and is 250 km northwest of Truscott in Western Australia. It is consisted of the Montara, Skua, Swift and Swallow oil fields and is located in Production License AC/L7 and AC/L8 in the East Timor Sea.