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Cablegate: Press Raise Fears of a Second Mud Disaster; Cnpc Subsidiary

VZCZCXRO4238
RR RUEHCHI RUEHCN RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHJS #0105 3030555
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 300555Z OCT 09
FM AMCONSUL SURABAYA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0487
RUEHJA/AMEMBASSY JAKARTA 0476
INFO RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 0219
RUEHWL/AMEMBASSY WELLINGTON 0186
RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS
RHHMUNA/HQ USPACOM HONOLULU HI
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 0013
RUEHJS/AMCONSUL SURABAYA 0499

UNCLAS SURABAYA 000105

SIPDIS

DEP FOR EAP/MTS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EPET ENRG SENV ECON ID
SUBJECT: PRESS RAISE FEARS OF A SECOND MUD DISASTER; CNPC SUBSIDIARY
INSISTS THERE IS NO CAUSE FOR CONCERN

1. (U) Press sources report that on Wednesday, 28 October a
mishap at an oil field on Madura Island, East Java Province
caused a well to begin spurting water, mud, and gas, raising the
specter of a repeat of the Lapindo mud disaster in Sidoarjo.
The well is operated by oil company SPE Petroleum, a subsidiary
of the China National Petroleum Corporation. According to press
reports, the leak has begun to inundate rice fields adjacent to
the well.

2. (U) In an official statement to the press, SPE operational
manager Akhmadi Sabidi claimed that the mud spraying from the
well is "not dangerous" and is "a common incident in Madura."
He emphasized that source of the mud is 20 meters below the
surface, and as such is easily contained. Amin Widodo, a
geologist at the Surabaya Institute of Technology (ITS),
confirmed that the oil reservoirs under northern east Java and
Madura have high mud content and that it is not uncommon for an
oil well to spurt mud. Amin also confirmed that mud coming from
a 20-meter depth is easily contained. ConGen Surabaya will
closely monitor the situation.

MCCLELLANDCR

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