Pertamina confirms no fatalities in Balikpapan refinery V fire

Pertamina confirms no fatalities in Balikpapan refinery V fire

Fajriyah Usman, Pertamina's Vice President of Corporate Communications (ANTARA/Mentari Dwi Gayati)

Jakarta (ANTARA) - The fire at one of the facilities in Pertamina’s Refinery Unit V (RU V) in Balikpapan, East Kalimantan Province, on Thursday morning, did not result in fatalities, a spokesperson for the state-owned oil and gas company said.

“There were no fatalities in the accident,” Pertamina's Vice President of Corporate Communications, Fajriyah Usman, told journalists here on Thursday.

Sparks were first detected around 9.30 a.m. local time, but the fire did not occur in RU V's main facility.

The fire was extinguished after Pertamina RU V firefighters deployed four fire trucks and one foam trailer, she said.

“The fire has been put out, and now, cooling down operations are under way,” she said, adding that the blaze did not affect the refinery's operations.

"RU V is operating normally, and we are still investigating the cause of the accident,” she said.

Pertamina has launched an internal probe into the fire, Kalimantan-based Pertamina spokesperson Heppy Wulansari revealed.

The fire was localized and its main line was extinguished, but its cause would be known after the internal investigators finish their work, she said.

The fire has extended Pertamina's experience in handling accidents. In July, the company halted operations and removed workers from a gas drilling platform in the Pertamina Hulu Energi Offshore North West Java (PHE ONWJ) block because of a dangerous ‘well kick’, or gas release.

The ‘well kick’ occurred in the re-activated YYA-1, located beneath the PHE ONWJs offshore platform, two kilometers north of Karawang.

The oil spill from the YYA-1 well in the PHE ONWJ block, located offshore from the Java Sea, affected Karawang and Bekasi waters.

Local fishermen could not catch fish due to the oil spill, and hence, they were asked to help clean the waters.

PT Pertamina has probed the cause of the gas release from the YYA-1 well in West Java that led to the oil spill.

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