On 28 May 2006, PT Lapindo Brantas targeted Gas in the Brantas area, East Java, by drilling a borehole well.
In the first stage of drilling the drill string first went through a thick clay seam, then sands, shales, volcanic debris and finally into permeable carbonate rocks. At this stage the borehole was surrounded by a Protective Steel Casing to help stabilise it.
One day later, a second stage of drilling began and the drill string went deeper to about 2,834 meter, this time without a Protective Steel Casing, after which water, steam and a small amount of Gas erupted at a location about 200 meter Southwest of the Well.
In spite of the above, PT Lapindo Brantas and some foreign geological experts said in various scientific meetings that the Hot Mud Flow was caused by an earthquake that hit Yogjakarta on 27 May 2006. However, the company agreed to pay compensation.
Today, the Mud Flow is slowing down five years after it swallowed 12 villages, 30 factories, dozens of shops and a busy highway near the country's second largest city of Surabaya. Twelve people have been killed, but many more lives have been wrecked. Some 40,000 people have been forced out of their homes by the inexorable ooze.
Many of the victims said they still have not been paid all of the compensation they were promised five years ago by PT Lapindo Brantas, a company part of the business empire controlled by the family of Golkar Party Chief Aburizal Bakrie.
For that reason, the people of Sidoarjo recently protested against the plan by PT Lapindo Brantas to drill new Gas well in the area.
Considering that until now we still do not know when will the Lapindo Hot Mud will stop flowing, I hope that the authorities would not allow new drilling operations in the area.
- Sidoarjo mud flow (Wikipedia)
- Five years on, Indonesia's mud volcano still erupting (AsiaOne News)
- Warga Tolak Pengeboran Baru Lapindo (Media Indonesia)