Oil Spill and Fire in Montara Development Well in Timor Sea

by OldSailor on November 4, 2009


PTTEP Fire in crude oil and gas development well in Montara, in the Timor Sea has been put off successfully. Montara development well is owned by PTTEP Australasia (PTTEP AA), a subsidiary of PTT Exploration and Production Public Company Limited (PTTEP). The well is located in the Southern Timor Sea, approximately 690 kilometres west of Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia. Up to 400 barrels of oil a day was leaking from this well since August 21.

Information available regarding the oil spill and fire are:

  • On August 21, 2009:
    • Crude oil and gas was emanating from the well.
    • PTTEP with the approval from the Australian authorities tried to control the leakage by drilling a relief well to intercept the leaking well and pump heavy mud to stop the leakage.
  • November 01, 2009:
    • At 0930 hours local time Darwin, the relief well had reached the target point of interception and heavy mud was pumped into the relief well.
    • During this process, a fire broke out on the contractor’s West Atlas drilling rig and the Montara Wellhead Platform.
    • The company initiated the process of controlling the fire and also started investigating the cause of the fire.
    • All personnel were reported to be safe with no injury.
  • November 03, 2009:
    • At 1715 hours Darwin time, the fire was extinguished by injecting heavy mud successfully into the leaking well.
    • Further monitoring is going on and experts are ready to assess the damages and to make plans for future work.
    • The company has insurance coverage of 270 million US dollars and is in the process of claiming it.

Here is a photograph with caption released by PTTEP AA, about the fire in the Montara well as on November 02, afternoon.

The Montara well head platform (left) on fire – as taken from the firefighting vessel Nor Captain during a run to within 200 metres from the burning structures to allow ALERT Well Control experts onboard to better assess the situation status. The cantilever structure – which previously sat over the well head platform – can be seen buckled over and down on to the helideck of the well head platform. Flames from the burning well head are being blown on to the upper superstructure the West Atlas rig (right).


View some amazing video clips of oil spill and fire from Al Jazeera:

ABC News, Australia reports that oil leak impact may last 7 years.

For updates, log on to PTTEP Australasia.

Posts in MarineBuzz on this day a year before:

Puri Beach Welcomes U.S. Presidential Candidates to White House

Bangladesh Reacts to Myanmar Oil Exploration in Disputed Waters of Bay of Bengal

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