State gas and oil company Pertamina keep cleaning the oil spill residue in Balikpapan Bay especially to six main areas namely Jetty area, Semayang until Balikpapan Plaza, Kampung atas Air until Kampung Baru Ulu, Penajam, Balikpapan Bay, and Kariangau.
“Up until now, Pertamina has deployed 3 patrol boats in zone 1, 2, and 3, and 12 standby boats which consist of 7 units of tugboat, 3 units of barge, 4 units of aluminium boat,” said Yudy Nugraha, the Kalimantan Regional Manager Communication and CSR through a written statement, Monday, April 9.
Pertamina oil spill which occurred due to a broken pipeline was followed by a fire on Saturday, March 31 and killed five people. Based on the analysis using satellite images on April 2, the total area affected reached nearly 12.987,2 hectares and possibly spread due to waves and currents.
Yudi claimed that with a naked eye, Balikpapan Bay is already clean. “But we need to get rid of the oil residue. Also in people’s residence area, there needs special treatment to clean up the oil that attached to plants and waters below the houses,” he said.
Of those six areas, the recovery effort in Jetty area has been finished in Sunday, April 8. “We keep the patrol and oil recovery efforts including the thin oil film,” Yudi asserted.
In Semayang-Balikpapan Plaza, according to Yudi, coastal and waters area have been recovered and the surface was seen to be clean. “The next [recovery] step is identification to rock, wall, or other material which affected by the oil.”
Meanwhile, oil film was still floated at the waters in Kampung Atas Air until Kampung Baru Ulu which was trapped among domestic waste under people’s residence. As for Kariangau, the recovery effort is still underway by deploying patrol boat to sweep the area.
As for Penajam, Pertamina claimed the area as well as Balikpapan Bay to be completely sterilized since April 6. “However, the patrol boat keeps monitoring the area once in four hours,” said Yudi.