A police probe into the cause of the “mud volcano” that has made 15,000 people homeless in Indonesia’s East Java reportedly points to negligence by a mining company.
Mud began to flow out of an exploratory gas drilling well operated by Pt Lapindo Brantas in May, last year. The mud has since flooded about 600 hectares of land and submerged whole villages.
Kompas newspaper quotes East Java police chief Herman Suryadi Sumawiredja as saying experts believe there is a link between the mud flow and the activities of the well.
He says police have questioned eight experts over the cause of the outflow. The police chief says the probe has concluded that the mud began to break out to the surface because of negligence by PT Lapindo Brantas during drilling at the well.
The police have declared 13 people as suspects in the case, all of whom are executives of PT Lapindo Brantas or field workers. Their indictments are still being prepared.
Kompas also quotes Indonesian Geologists Association head Andang Bachtiar as saying Lapindo’s use of mud to offset fluid coming out from the well was of a wrong density and caused the shaft to crack.
An oil and gas expert from the Bandung Institute of Technology, Rudi Rubiandini, says the company used the regulatory steel casing to drill the well only up to a depth of 3,600 feet and dispensed with its use for the remaining 5,700 feet.
Sumber: ABC News Online