Drilling in Indonesia well resumes after gas leak-official

Drilling in Indonesia well resumes after gas leak-official

Friday, August 4th 2006

Drilling activities have resumed at an exploration well in East Java, jointly operated by PT Pertamina (PTM.YY) and PetroChina Co. (PTR) after a gas leak was contained Sunday evening, a PetroChina official said Thursday.

“We are very close to the targeted depth (of 6,959 feet),” said Yin Xiaohua, a spokesman with PetroChina.

Yin expected that the well, one of five run by the joint venture in the Tuban Bloc, will start producing crude oil later this year, bringing the total output to about 15,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day from the current 11,500 boe/d.

Gas leaked from the well early Saturday. Workers immediately tried to contain the leak by channeling the gas to a flare pipeline and setting it alight.

The company denied media reports of a blast at the well saying in a press release that “the gas flow through (pipelines) seems to be louder at night.”

A few people from the nearby villages went to a hospital for physical checkups and none of them were found to be poisoned by hydrogen sulfide gas, the company claimed.

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