Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Timor Sea waters have been contaminated

Kupang, East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) (ANTARA News) - East Nusa Tenggara`s Environmental Affairs Agency (BLHD) has confirmed that Timor Sea waters have been contaminated with oil leaked from an explosion at the Montara oil field.

"Based on samples obtained in a survey conducted by BLHD in four different locations (in Timor Sea) last October 23, the sea waters is above the national water quality standard in line with the Environmental Affairs Minister`s Decree no. 51/2004," NTT BLHD Head Alexander Oematan said here on Tuesday.

The results of physical analysis conducted at the NTT BLHD laboratory showed that a water sample taken at the coordinate of 11.31.213 degrees southern latitude and 122.59.530 degrees eastern longitude, around five miles of Landu Isle, smelled oily, with turbidity at 165.5 NTU (Nephelometric Turbidity Units), and had an oil layer.

At the second point at the coordinate of 11.09.372 degrees southern latitude, and 122.56.960 degrees eastern longitude, around 10 miles of Ndana Isle as well as in Rote Ndao District, the water sample also smelled oily, with 569 NTU.

The chemical analysis also showed that the fat oil content was above the national water quality standard, Oematan said.The findings confirmed that the Timor Sea was polluted and efforts should be taken to prevent the destruction of marine species in the area, he said.

Oil, gas and condensate have been polluting the Timor Sea since the blow out happened at a rig of PTT Exploration & Production Pcl, the operator of the Montara offshore oil field on August 21, 2009. The rig is located around 690 km west of Darwin, North Australia, and 250 km northwest of Truscott in West Australia.

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