Hundreds of security personnel guard Lapindo gas well drilling

Sidoarjo, E Java (ANTARA News) - Hundreds of police and military personnel were tightly guarding the drilling work currently on for a gas well belonging to Lapindo Brantas Inc. in the Banteng hamlet of Sidoardjo District after a group of citizens opposed it, police said.

Chief of operational affairs of Sidoardjo police precinct Commissioner Edy S on Wednesday said at least 500 police personnel and a number of military personnel were deployed to secure the gas well drilling activities.

A mud disaster several years ago had submerged a great number of houses in Sidoardjo.

"We are traumatized, thats why we oppose (the drilling)," said M Kholik, a local resident.

The residents were traumatized by the hot mud disaster in Banjar Panji 1 Village Renokenongo that drowned thousands of homes, public facilities and infrastructure.

Drilling works of the Tanggulangin 1 gas well began with the conduct of the Drill Site Preparation (DSP) activity.

The drilling activity, which should have been carried out in 2012, was postponed due to refusal from residents of Kedung Banteng and Banjar Asri villages.

The Lapindo Brantas gas drilling venture is aimed at meeting the needs of household gas in East Javas capital city of Surabaya and Sidoarjo District since the gas for the government program, "City Gas," or gas to households, is supplied from Lapindos drilling.(*)