02 November 2008

It's Official (or is it)?

Well, it seems when things go bad they go bad across the board. A group of international petroleum geologists looking at the mud volcano (photo) in Sidoarjo in East Java have made a statement to the effect that the cause of this disaster was drilling and not some distant earthquake as claimed by the companies involved in the drilling.

The main company involved is part of the Bakrie empire. The Bakrie empire is slowly but surely unraveling as loan and debt pressure forces the group to sell off some of its best assets in order to make ends meet.

The petroleum geologists were meeting at a conference in Cape Town (South Africa). The view is not universal among the 74 experts in attendance. Three of them still consider the earth quake scenario the most likely cause.

These are the key reasons that drilling rather than the earthquake is the cause:
  • the earthquake was too small and too far away to have had a role.
  • the well was being drilled at the same time and only 150 m from the volcano site.
  • the well took a huge influx of fluid the day before the eruption, resulting in pressures that the well could not tolerate.
  • the pressure measured in the well after the influx provides strong evidence that the well was leaking and even evidence for the initial eruption at the surface.
Does this end the debate and have any implications for compensation. Probably not!


invisible said...

what goes around comes around. karma can be a bitch.

Rob Baiton said...


It can be. I guess that goes for all of us.

schmerly said...

The Bakrie BOG! I wonder when their going to compensate the poor buggers they displaced? arrogant Aburizal again, even SBY told them to cough up, not that his word carries much clout after all he's only the president, bought and paid for!

Rob Baiton said...


I do not see Bakrie paying in the near term.

I would be advocating for a class action and upping the ante.

There are good arguments for the idea that the Bakrie group is stalling and delaying as best they can.

On the president being bought and paid for, there will always be gossip to that end. If only someone wanted to jump into the fire and prove it, now that would be a turn up for the books.

I see Indonesia going the Singapore route of suing your opposition or critics into oblivion in order to maintain power and the status quo.

pj said...


Parvita wrote an interesting post on this topic some time ago. Check here geology section if you haven't already. Personally I was wondering if there was still an ongoing police investigation into this matter? What would really be interesting to me is the daily reports that would normally be transmitted from the rig to town. I imagine that these are in police hands gathering dust somewhere in Surabaya.

Rob Baiton said...


I will be sure to try and find the piece over at Parvita's.

Probably on the reports / files.