Sunday, November 1, 2009

West Atlas is Burning

A fire has broken out at an oil well that has been leaking in the Timor Sea for 10 weeks.

PTTEP Australasia says the West Atlas rig and Montara well head platform are on fire. All personnel on the nearby West Triton rig and on work vessels in the area are reported to be safe. Oil has been spilling into the Timor Sea at an estimated rate of 2000 - 6000 barrels a day since August 21.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority has 300 people working on the clean-up. Redhand would like to know where are the 300 hundred people who were apparently cleaning up this spill? Where were they when the rig caught fire? Where have these 300 hundred people come from? Have they been flown in from Darwin or Broome? Are they being accommodated in Darwin or Broome?

How was this fire stated? How do they intend to deal with this massive disaster now?

Now that this rig is on fire, Redhand believes that it is about time that both the Pearling Industry, Local fishing Industry, the Kimberley Tourism Industry, the Broome Chamber of Commerce, the local Shires and regional peak bodies start to take a serious look at this global disaster. They must at least, begin to come to terms with the facts that this spill and the subsequent fire is going to have ominous and dire consequential ramifications for all these Industries and local and regional governance. The oil will eventually run the entire Dampier coastal foreshore and will make its way to Cable Beach.

In the light of this global significant disaster, that can be viewed from space, what Risk Management Strategies does the Shire of both Broome and Derby and the state government have in place to deal with this particular oil spill or any other major industrial or tanker accidents that could take place anywhere along the western Australian coastline?

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