Indonesian Island Oil Spill Grows Larger : 5 Deaths So Far

An oil spill occurring earlier this month near an Indonesian island has caused the Indonesian authorities to declare a state of “emergency response” to combat the growing spill.  


The oil spill in Boreno has continued to spread across an area greater than the city of Paris, and is now making its way out to the open ocean. The pipeline belongs to the state-owned oil and natural gas corporation Pertamina.  

The company originally said that the spill had nothing to do with its nearby refinery or from any of the undersea pipelines that run across the bay. Pertamina claimed that the oil spill came from marine fuel oil used for ships, and not crude oil.  

Eventually, the truth came out, and the company admitted to one of their pipelines being the cause. A manager from the company said that all distribution lines were closed after the drivers found the leakage earlier this month, and a test confirmed that it was, in fact, their oil.  

Indonesia’s government, on the other hand, made the claim that the company is not at fault for the spill and that the blame can go towards a foreign coal vessel that dropped anchor in the bay, and that it caused the spill.  

Dojoko Swisiwanto is the and Mineral Resources Ministries oil and gas General and he told The Jakarta Post earlier this month that, “the pipe was allegedly dragged by an anchor dropped by a vessel, though no vessel was permitted to drop anchor or even pass through the bay.”  

A couple weeks later the truth has come out that PERTAMINA is 100% at fault for the oil spill, and that the government is finding solutions to make sure that this will never happen again.   

While the government was preoccupied on trying to shift the blame of who was at fault things began to grow worse, and the government’s inaction became an even larger problem as the spill spread in the bay.   

The incident which has already caused the deaths of five fishermen has authorities actively trying to combat the spread of the spill and to ensure that more don’t die by warning residents against naked flames and smoking in the area.  

Environmental groups and campaigners have criticized the government for its lack of effort, and that it took people dying for the government to be in a state of emergency over the oil spill.  

Spokesmen for the environmental group Greenpeace said that it hasn’t received any official communication, despite the new state of emergency.  

Spokesman Artisyah Nasution told CNN that, “the Government is too late to mitigate the impact of the incident. The handling of the oil spill is slow, which could be (due to a lack of) equipment resources.” 

The Balikpapan environmental agency said that oil dispersant is being sprayed in all affected areas, especially around coastal settlements. They also said that more is being done as they speak.  

Indonesian volunteers are also taking action consisting of military, and members of the community; they have been working since last week to continue the fight and clean up the oil once and for all.  

This is the first week in a month since the oil spill began that the government has decided to take action, and hopefully it’s not too late.  





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