Jakarta (ANTARA) - The oil spill caused by the release of gas in the Pertamina Hulu Energi Offshore North West Java (PHE ONWJ) block in the offshore of the Java Sea has not affected commercial shipping, the Transportation Ministry said.

"Until now, there has been no impact to commercial shipping and the ship did not pass the area of the oil spill," the ministry's Director of Sea and Coast Guarding of the Directorate General of Sea Transportation, Ahmad, said here on Monday.

The ministry held a meeting with state-owned oil firm, PT Pertamina (Persero), to discuss the impact of the oil spill at the YYA-1 well in the offshore of the Java Sea on national shipping.

Ahmad said the ministry will issue a Notice of Marine to all shipping companies over the incident so they can take precautionary measures.

"Until now, no commercial shipping has been affected by the oil spill and the authority is continuing to prevent the oil spill from spreading further," he added.

At the meeting, Pertamina explained measures to tackle the incident involving credible, competent and well-experienced parties. The company has also sought help from a US firm, Boot & Coots, which has experience in controlling oil spills in the Gulf of Mexico.

Pertamina has mobilized 27 ships and 12 sets of oil boom to handle the environmental impact, and in cooperation with the Indonesian Navy and the Maritime Police, it deployed seven patrol boats to ensure no fishermen conduct activities in the area.

Last week, Pertamina in its statement said that it halted operations and removed workers from a gas drilling platform in the Offshore North West Java (ONWJ) block because of a dangerous "well kick".

A spokesman of ONWJ block operator Pertamina Hulu Energi (PHE), Ifki Sukarya, said the kick, an unplanned and often violent release of gas caused by low pressure in a wellbore, started on July 12 and became bigger two days later.

The well kick occurred in the re-activated YYA-1, located beneath the PHE ONWJ’s offshore platform two kilometers north of Karawang, West Java. It had caused a minor oil spill in the area. EDITED BY INE

Translator: Ahmad Wijaya, Sri Haryati
Editor: Eliswan Azly
Copyright © ANTARA 2019