The story appears on

Page A5

October 18, 2009

GET this page in PDF

Free for subscribers

View shopping cart

Related News

Home » World

Latest effort fails to plug Aussie oil leak

A THIRD attempt to plug a well that has been leaking oil into the sea off northwestern Australia for nearly two months failed yesterday, the operator said.

Conservationists are increasingly concerned that a slick stretching across thousands of kilometers of remote ocean will harm whales, dolphins or birds, though only the deaths of about a dozen sea birds have been reported so far.

An estimated 400 barrels a day of oil has been leaking into the Timor Sea from an undersea fissure that erupted on August 21 beneath the West Atlas rig about 250 kilometers northwest of the Kimberley region's coast.

PTTEP Australasia, a branch of Thai-owned PTT Exploration and Production Co Ltd, said it had hired experts to mitigate the environmental threat, and the Australian government has said the leak so far has not threatened the coast.

Experts using electromagnetic detection equipment have tried three times to find the exact point in a 25-centimeter-wide pipe where the leak is occurring. It is thought to be more than 2.6 kilometers underground.

PTTEP said in a statement yesterday the third attempt to find the leak had failed, and it would take three or four days to set up another attempt.

When the hole is found, the experts will drill into the pipe beneath the fissure and pump in heavy mud to stem the leak and plug the pipe.

John Wardrop, an environmental scientist hired by PTTEP Australia to monitor the leak, said there was no sign it had caused major environmental damage - probably because the site is far from ecologically sensitive areas.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend