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LAPINDO MUD DISASTER

 

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LAPINDO SIDOARJO DISASTER

 

WHO IS RESPONSIBLE???

 

WHAT IS BEING DONE TO HELP THE VICTIMS????

 

 

 

 

Blog site for the victims of LAPINDO

 

 

 

 

AUDITING THE HOTMUD ERUPTION IN SIDOARJO

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Lapindo book author forced to stay in hiding

Wahyoe Boediwardhana, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta
July 30 2012, 5:29 AM

The author of a book which criticizes Golkar Party Chairman Aburizal Bakrie for his poor handling of the Lapindo mudflow disaster in Sidoarjo, East Java, has been forced to live in hiding with his family for fear of possible retribution.

Taufik Budiman, who represented Ali Azhar Akbar, author of the book Lapindo File: Konspirasi SBY-Bakrie (Lapindo File: Conspiracy of SBY-Bakrie), said that after he was reported to be missing, Ali had sent messages that he had to stay in hiding and would only come out when the moment is right.
“The language that he used in the text message matched his style and we can be sure that the messages were sent by him. For now, we are grateful for the fact that he made contact, which means that he is still alive and safe,” Taufik told The Jakarta Post on Sunday.

Ali went missing after last making contact with his lawyer, M. Taufik Budiman, shortly before the launch of his book at the Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB) campus on June 20. Other reports say that Ali lost contact with Taufik two days before the event.
Ali is an environmental activist who wrote two previous books about the Lapindo mudflow, Konspirasi di Balik Lumpur Lapindo: Dari Aktor Hingga Strategi Kotor (Conspiracy Behind Lapindo Mudflow: From Actors to Dirty Tricks) published by Galang Pers in 2007 and Lapindo File published by Indopetro Publishing House in
May. In his book, Ali argued that an accident in the drilling activity on May 26, 2006, by Lapindo Brantas Incorporated (LBI), owned by Golkar Party chairman and tycoon Aburizal Bakrie, was the cause of the mudflow.

Ali and his two colleagues filed a judicial review with the Constitutional Court citing Law No. 4/2012 article 18 on the 2012 revised state budget that allows for the channeling of state funds to deal with the mudflow.
Coordinator of the Commission for Missing Person and Victims of Violence (Kontras) Surabaya Andy Irfan Junaidi said late
last week that it was possible that Ali went into hiding with his family members because they were all out of reach.

“A few friends who have direct access to Ali said that his whereabouts were being kept a secret and that we should not try
to find him yet,” Andy said.
Andy said that Ali and his family could likely face threats from certain parties.
“This complicates our investigation because now we have to deal with a kind of threat that forced him to hide himself,”
he added. According to Andy, it is possible that Ali’s activism and statements made him the target of intimidation.
“He received several death threats via text messages or cell phone before and after the book launch and the judicial review,” Andy said.

Kontras national coordinator Haris Azhar, said that Ali’s disappearance indicated that missing person cases could still occur in a democratic society.
“This incident proves that missing persons cases can still happen long after 1998. The perpetrators who kidnapped people during the New Order era remain free until now. There is no deterrent effect, because they were not being punished,”
Haris told the Post.
Haris was referring to chief patron of the Greater National Movement (Gerindra) Party Prabowo Soebianto, who was once
held accountable for the disappearance of pro-democracy activists in the twilight of the New Order regime.

Prabowo has even wanted to run for president. It goes to show that missing person cases are considered commonplace,”
he added.
Haris said that currently there were laws that could protect individuals from being abducted.

“The mass abduction that happened during the New Order would be unlikely to happen today, but there is still a chance,“
Haris said.
Last week, a victim of the Lapindo mudflow made a shocking move by apologizing to Aburizal on national television.
Hari Suwandi, who walked 827 kilometers from Surabaya to Jakarta, apologized to Aburizal for besmirching his family name
in the protest.

Responding to Hari’s about-face, Bakrie said on Sunday that history would finally vindicate him. “It’s getting clearer, which is right and which is wrong.
I was accused of colluding with Gayus. Gayus had recently spoken out himself,” Bakrie said, referring to junior tax official Gayus Tambunan. (nad)

 
 

 

 

The Lapindo Titanic

Monday, 01 August 2011 00:00
Bosman Batubara
Edition 105: Jul - Sep 2011

Bosman Batubara

The struggle waged by the Lapindo mudflow victims has been a long and exhausting one. For almost four years, displaced villagers from Sidoarjo have been pressing PT Lapindo Brantas to deliver on compensation for their sunken assets – a feat made the more challenging by the fact that even Indonesian law, a citizen’s last protector and refuge, has betrayed them. Determined to tell the world about what it’s like to cope with disaster day by day, Gus Maksum – a survivor of the now lost village of Jatirejo – has published a memoir, Titanic Made by Lapindo.

 

 

Gus Maksum is a local Kiyai, a teacher, and a writer. Before the onset of the mudflow on 29 May 2006, he was responsible for approximately 500 students at the school in Jatirejo that he headed. When disaster struck he hastily moved his classes to Krembung, another sub-district in Sidoarjo, but also began using his time to keep a careful record of his own experiences and those of other victims.

Although the Indonesian media have followed the Lapindo mudflow disaster closely, stories in the press do not delve nearly as deep as Gus’s memoir. For me, reading the book felt like having a personal and profound dialogue with one of the victims. The author helps the reader to see many things, ranging from problems caused by the loss of the village mosque to the implications of compensation never received. He includes stories of life in the refugee camp, and what dike construction really meant to the villagers. In his artfully titled chapter, ‘It’s all about the project, mate!’, he vividly describes how, in the eyes of mudflow victims, efforts at mitigation appeared to be little more than a game that attracted politicians and business people ready to exploit chaos for self-interest.

The fact that this book – a first-hand, personal account of the disaster as experienced by its victims – should exist at all is truly remarkable. Many people have written about the Lapindo mudflow disaster, but most were merely temporary observers. Clearly an author’s position in relation to a subject fundamentally shapes the outcome of his or her work. An observer is an observer; that is to say, detached. This book, however, was born from the lived experiences of the disaster’s victims, people who spent each day caught in the struggle to survive the enormous physical, emotional and financial impact of the Lapindo mudflow.
No justice

In 2009, the East Java Regional Police decided to issue an ‘Order to Stop an Investigation’ (SP3), thereby ending a criminal investigation into PT Lapindo Brantas’s responsibility for the mudflow disaster. From a legal point of view, the pendulum seems to have made a powerful sweep away from justice for the people and towards victory for the gas and oil giant. The SP3 implicitly states that PT Lapindo Brantas is not responsible for the mudflow on the grounds that the disaster was naturally occurring and neither industrial nor man-made. The fact that the regional police would back an order such as the SP3 may come as no surprise to the mudflow victims for, as Gus Maksum argues in his book, ‘The villagers believe that the ultimate goal [has been] to remove the people from their village’. At this point, the East Java Regional Police are clearly more concerned with the interests of PT Lapindo Brantas than with those of the victims.

The SP3 has lent a new air of credibility to PT Lapindo Brantas’s denials of culpability. It has allowed the firm – owned by Aburizal Bakrie, a former minister and one of Indonesia’s richest individuals – to continually postpone the payment of compensation that it is obliged, under Presidential Regulation 14/2007, to provide to mudflow victims for their losses. Under that regulation the government ordered Lapindo Brantas to pay for damage to villagers’ property by compensating losses in two payments: 20 percent of the total amount immediately following the order, and the remaining 80 percent in a second payment one month before the displaced households faced the end of their two-year home rental contracts in July 2008.

From the disaster’s earliest days, scientific experts have been collecting and reviewing data in an effort to deduce the origins of the mudflow. While it does not seem likely that the global community of geoscientists will reach a united conclusion any time soon, the debate itself has become a hot political issue. On one side stand scientists who, much like Lapindo, assert that the mudflow was a natural disaster triggered by tectonic activity along the Watukosek fault during the Yogyakarta earthquake of 27 May 2006. Countering their claims, however, is a broader circle of scientific experts who point to growing evidence that drilling pressures caused an underground blowout in Banjar Panji-1 well, triggering the mudflow and therefore making it an industrial disaster. One of these scientists – Richard Davies, an expert on mud volcanoes at Britain’s Durham University – has led expert investigations into the mudflow and its effects on Sidoarjo since 2006. In June 2008 he went on record saying ‘We are more certain than ever that the Lusi mud volcano is an unnatural disaster and was triggered by drilling the Banjar-Panji-1 well.’ In February 2010, he and a group of experts made international news again by releasing a report outlining new evidence that an operating error committed by PT Lapindo Brantas was what led to the disaster.

The East Java Regional Police issued the SP3 despite the weight of expert opinion, and despite new evidence it has not yet been revoked. We have all become witnesses to the creation of a painful precedent, one in which the law fails to serve the best interests of victims. In cases like this, literature becomes an even more important and powerful public medium. It brings readers close to the lived experiences of those displaced by the mudflow disaster. Gus Maksum’s warm, conversational tone connects readers personally to more than just a moment in history: it connects them to the truth.

S.H. Maksum Zuber, Titanic Made by Lapindo, Yogyakarta: Lafadl Pustaka and The Taiwan Foundation for Democracy, 2009.

Bosman Batubara (http://annelis.wordpress.com) is a Masters student in the Interuniversity Programme on Water Resources Engineering, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven and Vrije Universiteit Brussel. He was formerly a community organiser at Lafadl Initiatives, working with victims of the mudflow on a women’s economic empowerment project. He would like to thank Rayna Rusenko for assistance in preparing this review.

 

 



Hundreds of mudflow victims halt Lapindo activities

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Mon, 10/03/2011

A protest involving hundreds of mudflow disaster victims from Besuki, Kedungcangkring and Pejarakan villages in Sidoarjo, East Java, has brought work to a halt at the Lapindo mudflow disaster site.

One of the protesters, Mudiharto, said the group had staged the protest in an effort to seek clarity from the Sidoarjo Mud Disaster Mitigation Agency on compensation payments that were supposed to have been given to disaster victims.

"They have only paid 70 percent of our compensation and we don’t know when they will pay the remaining 30 percent,” Mudiharto said Monday as quoted by kompas.com.

The disaster, which started in 2006, has caused massive loss of property after the mudflow buried multiple villages in the Porong area. The victims have been struggling to obtain compensation ever since.

Meanwhile, blame for the incident has been shifted away from a company conducting deep drilling in the area, Lapindo Brantas, which was widely believed to have caused the mudflow.

Lapindo has insisted that the mudflow began as a result of an earthquake that struck in Central Java.

 

 


Threat Level at Lapindo Mudlow Site Increases

Arientha Primanita & Antara | September 22, 2011

Authorities in East Java have raised the alert level for the mudflow spewing from an underground volcano in Sidoarjo after nearby dikes nearly failed.
The mudflow has destroyed hundreds of homes, swamped 720 hectares of land and displaced more than 11,000 people since it began erupting in late May 2006.

“The situation is alarming,” said Achmad Khusaeri, a spokesman for the Sidoarjo Mudflow Mitigation Agency (BPLS), adding that the underground volcano had begun to erupt again after lying virtually dormant for years.
The mudflow had fallen from an average of 100,000 cubic meters per day in 2009 to 13,000 cubic meters per day last year.

Achmad said the authorities had added another meter to the height of the dikes as well as reinforcing them with rocks held together by chicken wire. BPLS officers are also monitoring the dikes 24 hours a day.
Dwi Arisanto, an official at state railway operator Kereta Api Indonesia, said tracks along the disaster-hit area were being reinforced.
“We are also limiting train speeds to no more than 20 kilometers per hour,” he said.

East Java Governor Sukarwo said the surge was happening in eastern Sidoarjo, while in the west the mudflow had receded.
The provincial government, he said, was channeling the surging mud to the area’s less-populated south.
Sukarwo added that rain could also worsen the surging mudflow and cause the dikes to weaken.
The governor visited the Presidential Palace on Tuesday, urging the central government to push Minarak Lapindo Jaya, the holding company of the gas drilling operation that is widely blamed for the mudflow, to expedite its compensation scheme.

Under the scheme, residential land was valued at Rp 1 million ($113) per square meter, while farmland was valued at Rp 120,000 per square meter. However, Sukarwo said Lapindo had only paid compensation for 72 percent of the inundated lands, adding that he urged the company to pay for at least 80 percent by the end of the year.

“I will let the president, vice president and the ministers push for the compensation and I will try to calm down the people,” the governor said.

Sukarwo said Lapindo should disburse all of its compensation by April next year. Three villages are now completely submerged by the mudflow.

Separately, Public Works Minister Djoko Kirmanto said President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono was expanding the area deemed to be devastated by the disaster.

The minister said that on Monday, there would be nine neighborhoods that would be added to the compensation scheme, costing an additional Rp 1 trillion to Rp 2 trillion.

 

 

 

 

 

Hasil Audit BPK Lumpur Lapindo - Presentation Transcript

1. AUDITING THE HOTMUD ERUPTION IN SIDOARJO, EAST JAVA, INDONESIA WITH ENVIRONMENTAL PERSPECTIVES SIDOARJO DISASTER A Case Of State’s Failure to Control Corporate Greed Prof. Dr. Anwar Nasution Chairman of The Audit Board Of the Republic of Indonesia 11th Meeting of INTOSAI-WGEA Arusha, Tanzania 1 25-29 June, 2007

2. Introduction Between November 2006 and March 2007 BPK audited the hot mud eruption at an exploration well of Bankjarpanji-1 owned by PT Lapindo Brantas Inc. (LBI). LBI is an oil company owned by a family of Mr. Aburizal Bakrie, the current Coordinating Minister for Social Affairs and a prominent member of a leading political party. The mud eruption started at a five thousands cubic meter a day to presently 170 thousands cubic meter. In doing the audit, BPK was assisted by a group of geologists, scientists, economists from the University of Brawijaya in Malang and other leading Universities. BPK had also access to reports prepared for the government by foreign consultants. The objectives of the audit are to asses the compliance of:1. To assess the compliance of: (a) the company with the law and regulations on oil exploration and exploitation; (b) the three layers of government (central, provincial and district) in handling the disaster to: (i) help the victims, (ii) mitigate social and economic impacts of the disaster to Sidoarjo area and East Java Province and (iii) force the responsible parties to adhere to the law and regulations on oil exploration and exploitation.2. To assess the effectiveness of the National Team’s activities in mitigating the impacts of the eruption. 2

3. Location of the eruption Exhibit 1. The Location of the eruptionThe eruption is located in Sidoarjo – Sub District of Porong, Regency of Sidoarjo, 30 km of Surabaya, the capital city of East Java Province. Home to 34 million people, East Java is the second largest province in Indonesia. Surabaya area is the second industrial zone of the country and its seaport of Tanjung Perak is also the second largest Bali in Indonesia. Meanwhile, Juanda Airport in Surabaya is the major airport in the province; – The volcano is located 150 meters away from Exhibit 2 The vital infrastructures map Banjarpanji-1 well and few meters away from major economic and social infrastructures linking Surabaya and hinterland (Exhibit 1).The Significant of Sidoarjo Regency – Population density of Sidoarjo area is very high at High Voltage Transmission 2,843 persons/sq.km; Toll Road – The disaster area is passed by various important economic infrastructures such as roadway and the Railroad only toll road in the province, railways, electric grid, telephone lines, and gas pipe (exhibit 2); – The economic structures of Sidoarjo are mainly: Gas Pipe line Manufacturing industry and small scale farming. 3

4. Key Events Leading to the Eruption Exhibit 3 displays the location of the hot mud eruption close to drilling platform or boring well of LBI at Banjarpanji-1. Exhibit 3 LBI together with PT. Medco Brantas E&P and Location of the Eruption Santos Brantas Pty Ltd has interest and right to the Brantas Block; The Eruption LBI started to drill (spud in) Banjarpanji-1 well, on March 8, 2006 and reached the depth of 9.297 feet on May 27, 2006; At this depth, the exploration of the Banjarpanji- 1 well has continuously had well problems such as well kicks (fluid from the formation Banjarpanji-1 well penetrated into the bore hole) and losses (fluid or mud from the bore hole went out to the formation). Eventually, on May 29, 2006, the mud eruption took place near the exploration site. 4

5. The cause of the mud eruption LBI insufficiently handled the problem in the Banjarpanji-1 well that cracked the formation and created channels for the mud in the clay/shale stone formation flowing to the surface. Sedimentary and volcanic overburden (pleistocene) B Upper Kalibeng FormationA (pleistocene) Interbedded sands and muds Kujung Formation limestone aquifer (oligo-Miocene) 5

6. Strategies to Stop the MudFlows The company and the government have adopted four strategies to stop the mudflows, namely: 1. to cap the wellhead from above; 2. to snub the well from the sides; 3. to dig three relief wells and again tried to plug the mudflow from the side; 4. to drop concrete balls linked by chains into the mud volcano; 5. As all the above four strategies have failed, the government is now considering to use a new but untested strategy, namely, to plug the mud by building a dam around the crater. The amassing mud will be used to counterweight against the out flowing mud from the mouth of the volcano. Many experts, however, believe the flow is unstoppable. 6

7. THE IMPACTS OF SIDOARJO DISASTER (as of February 2007)LAPINDO BRANTAS Inc. •10,462 houses Loss of properties: •CORPORATE GREED •23 schools residential, governmental, •INCOMPETENCE •2 Gov’t. offices educational, religious•INADEQUATE EQUIPMENT: •23 manuf. facilities and economic buildings BOREHOLE WAS NOT •15 mosques PROTECTED BY STEEL Destruction of structures, Power grid damages CASING PRESSURE facilities, installations 70-150 Kilo Volt Refugees: CONNECTION FRACTURING •7,248 house- Gas pipeline damages PROPAGATE TO THE holds; SURFACE •26,317 victims Toll road damages Railway track damages UNABATED FLOOD- Destruction of DISRUPTIONS TO FLOWS OF HOTMUD ING vegetation •306.2 Ha of paddy fields ECONOMIC ACTIVITIES REDUCTION OF crops, livestock •64 Ha of sugar cane crops ECONOMIC CAPACITIESUNCERTAIN END! ECONOMIC LOSSES BOTH IN Sedimentation of Bigger risks THE SHORT- & LONG-TERM :The volume keeps on Porong estuaries of floods TotalEconomic Cost : US$3,46 B Total Financial Cost : US$0,52 Bincreasing from 5,000 The Gap : US$2,94 Billioncubic meter/day at the Contamination of Reduced soil soil fertilitystart to reach 170,000cubic meter/day in Contamination of •Unsafe domestic waterFebruary 2007. Now, underground water •Affecting aquatic & Loweredthe flood has been tables & surface water marine eco-system life-supporting &inundating 470 Ha of carrying capacityland, and burying 9 7 Land subsidence(nine) villages.

8. Government Initiatives In the beginning, the central government gave the initiatives to handle the disaster to both the company and local (provincial and district) governments. Because of the lack of power, expertise and resources; local governments could not do much; Aid from central government has been limited as the company is expected to fully compensate the victims and bear some of the clear cost. But, on the other hand, there is no enforcement mechanism to implement the company’s financial responsibility; In spite of the magnitude of the destruction the government has not declared the mudflow as a disaster; Few months after the eruption occurred, in September 2006, the central government set up the National Team for Handling the Mud Flow in Sidoarjo (The Team). The Team was given eight months to address three issues, namely: 1) to stop the mudflow, 2) to mitigate the impacts of the mudflow, and 3) to minimize the social, economic, and environmental impacts. The achievement of the Team is also negligible because of the lack of coordination with the company and local governments; On March 31, 2007, one year after the mudflow started, a new team was established by the central government. The new team, again, is not well equipped with sufficient authority, expertise, and resources. There are also lack of coordination between the Team and other government agencies including Provincial and Regency governments. 8

9. Audit Findings
The catastrophe and its handling indicates a number of issues: The mishap is a man-made disaster; Regulations on exploration and exploitation of oil and gas are not sufficiently protected people and environment, particularly in a densely populated areas; The disaster caused by LBI’s negligence as in drilling the well, it uses the un-reputable company (most likely its own subsidiary) to do the drilling, with inadequate and used equipments and inexperience technicians. These indicate a weakness in government monitoring and enforcement of the rules and regulations as well as contracts with the oil and gas companies; Slow and inadequate response of the government in handling the impact of the disaster to help the victims and to build alternative economic infrastructures and relocate them to safe places. These have exacerbated the negative impacts of the mishap; Little progress in the prosecution of those responsible for the 9 disaster;

10. Audit Findings………………………The absence of protection of property rights for the victims who have lost more than 11 thousands homes and two dozen businessesthat have been buried in more than 6 sq km under 20m deepcovering nine villages in Sidoardjo area. The choked off oftransportation to the main seaport of Tanjung Perak and JuandaAirport, near Surabaya, have also negatively affected the economy ofhinterland in the Southern part of East Java;The absence of effective, low cost of enforcement of contract.Implementation of the company commitment to takeover the victims’destroyed properties and to pay some of the clear cost is negligible;The government has never conducted a thorough risk assessment inorder to develop action plan or activities;There is no consistent result from researcher about toxic sludge andwater of the mud.
People in nearly villages complained that toxicsludge and water have penetrated their drinking wells, agriculturefields, fish ponds, marine ecosystem and homes. 10

11. RecommendationsThe government should thoroughly investigate the causes of the disaster andprosecute those responsible for causing it;The government should officially declare the mudflow as a disaster and take over thedisaster management to handle the mishap and mitigate its social and environmentalimpacts;The government should immediately help the victims of the disasters, restore theirlivelihood and restore economic activities of the province by rebuilding and relocatingthe damaged infrastructures. The slow response of the government has exacerbatedthe negative impacts of the disaster on human live, environment and economy;The government should conduct a comprehensive research to ensure the toxicity ofthe sludge and water;The government should revise and upgrade the policy implementation andmonitoring system of the oil and gas exploration and exploitation to protect thepeople’s life, the environment and the economy;
Based on Indonesia’s experiences on previous natural disasters and this man-mademishap, the government should develop
a comprehensive disaster policy and build itsinstitutional capability to cope with those unexpected problems. Indonesia is prone toboth natural and man-made disasters. The country is prone to natural disasters, liketsunami in December 2004
and earthquake and volcano eruptions in 2006 becausethe country is located on both the Australia-Asia tectonic plate and ring of fires of theworld.

 

 

 

The Tragedy Of Lapindo
Posted on February 3, 2010 by EastJava.com
Lapindo Hot Mud - Sidoarjo

Lapindo Hot Mud

This is not one of East Java cultural heritage or even Tourism destination, Lapindo hot mud is such a tragedy for
Sidoarjo people as victims of this thing happened. By this natural disaster, we should have to be more concern about the Earth and the society within the world.

The Sidoarjo mud flow or Lapindo mud, also informally abbreviated, a contraction of Lumpur Sidoarjo (lumpur is the Indonesian word for mud), is a mud volcano[1] in the subdistrict of Porong, Sidoarjo in East Java, Indonesia that has been ongoing since May 2006. Approximately 2,500 m³ (88,000 cubic feet) of mud are expelled per day, which is equivalent to the contents of a dozen Olympic-size swimming pools.[2] It appears that the flow will continue indefinitely. As of November 2008, the Sidoarjo mud flow is contained by levees, but further breakouts are possible.

Mud volcano systems are fairly common on Earth, and particularly in East Java province. Beneath the island of Java is a half-graben lying in the east-west direction, filled with overpressured marine carbonates and marine muds.[4] It forms an inverted extensional basin which has been geologically active since the Paleogene epoch.[5] The basin started to become overpressured during the Oligo-Miocene period. Some of the overpressured mud escapes to the surface to form mud volcanoes, which have been observed at Sangiran Dome and near Purwodadi city, 200 km (124 miles) west of Lusi.

The East Java Basin contains a significant amount of oil and gas reserves and therefore the region is known as a major concession area for mineral exploration. The Porong subdistrict, 14 km south of Sidoarjo city, is known in the mineral industry as the Brantas Production Sharing Contract (PSC), an area of approximately 7,250 km² which consists of three oil and gas fields: Wunut, Carat and Tanggulangin. As of 2006, three companies — Santos (18%), MedcoEnergi (32%) and PT Lapindo Brantas (50%) — had concession rights for this area; PT Lapindo Brantas acted as an operator

On May 28, 2006, PT Lapindo Brantas targeted gas in the Kujung Formation carbonates in the Brantas PSC area by drilling a borehole named the ‘Banjar-Panji 1 exploration well’. In the first stage of drilling the drill string first went through a thick clay seam (500–1,300 m deep), then sands, shells, volcanic debris and finally into permeable carbonate rocks.[1] At this stage the borehole was surrounded by a steel casing to help stabilise it. At 5:00 a.m. local time (UTC+8) a second stage of drilling began and the drill string went deeper, to about 2,834 m (9,298 ft), this time without a protective casing, after which water, steam and a small amount of gas erupted at a location about 200 m southwest of the well.[7] Two further eruptions occurred on the second and the third of June about 800–1000 m northwest of the well, but these stopped on June 5, 2006.[7] During these eruptions, hydrogen sulphide gas was released and local villagers observed hot mud, thought to be at a temperature of around 60 °C (140 °F).[8]

From a model developed by geologists working in the UK,[7] the drilling pipe penetrated the overpressured limestone, causing entrainment of mud by water. The influx of water to the well bore caused a hydrofracture, but the steam and water did not enter the borehole; they penetrated the surrounding overburden and pressured strata. The extra pressure formed fractures around the borehole that propagated 1-2km to the surface and emerged 200 m away from the well. The most likely cause of these hydraulic fractures was the unprotected drill string in the second stage of drilling.[7] Borehole protection by steel casing is a common procedure in oil or gas exploration.

More info: www.sidoarjo.eastjava.com

 

 

 

Four years of the Lapindo mudflow in Indonesia

Media Summary
The Lapindo Mudflow was caused by the oil drilling company Lapindo Brantas Inc over four years ago. The man-made disaster is still having an impact on the people of Sidoarjo, Indonesia. 26/05/2010

 

 

New research puts spotlight on Lapindo

UK scientists have made public evidence which they claim shows Lapindo Brantas’ drilling for gas was responsible
for unleashing a mud volcano in Indonesia which left tens of thousands of people homeless, according to reports.

 

 

 

The Lapindo Titanic

Monday, 01 August 2011 00:00
Bosman Batubara
Edition 105: Jul - Sep 2011

 

 

Review: When the law betrays, literature must speak

The struggle waged by the Lapindo mudflow victims has been a long and exhausting one. For almost four years, displaced villagers from Sidoarjo have been pressing PT Lapindo Brantas to deliver on compensation for their sunken assets – a feat made the more challenging by the fact that even Indonesian law, a citizen’s last protector and refuge, has betrayed them. Determined to tell the world about what it’s like to cope with disaster day by day, Gus Maksum – a survivor of the now lost village of Jatirejo – has published a memoir, Titanic Made by Lapindo.

Gus Maksum is a local Kiyai, a teacher, and a writer. Before the onset of the mudflow on 29 May 2006, he was responsible for approximately 500 students at the school in Jatirejo that he headed. When disaster struck he hastily moved his classes to Krembung, another sub-district in Sidoarjo, but also began using his time to keep a careful record of his own experiences and those of other victims.

Although the Indonesian media have followed the Lapindo mudflow disaster closely, stories in the press do not delve nearly as deep as Gus’s memoir. For me, reading the book felt like having a personal and profound dialogue with one of the victims. The author helps the reader to see many things, ranging from problems caused by the loss of the village mosque to the implications of compensation never received. He includes stories of life in the refugee camp, and what dike construction really meant to the villagers. In his artfully titled chapter, ‘It’s all about the project, mate!’, he vividly describes how, in the eyes of mudflow victims, efforts at mitigation appeared to be little more than a game that attracted politicians and business people ready to exploit chaos for self-interest.

The fact that this book – a first-hand, personal account of the disaster as experienced by its victims – should exist at all is truly remarkable. Many people have written about the Lapindo mudflow disaster, but most were merely temporary observers. Clearly an author’s position in relation to a subject fundamentally shapes the outcome of his or her work. An observer is an observer; that is to say, detached. This book, however, was born from the lived experiences of the disaster’s victims, people who spent each day caught in the struggle to survive the enormous physical, emotional and financial impact of the Lapindo mudflow.
No justice

In 2009, the East Java Regional Police decided to issue an ‘Order to Stop an Investigation’ (SP3), thereby ending a criminal investigation into PT Lapindo Brantas’s responsibility for the mudflow disaster. From a legal point of view, the pendulum seems to have made a powerful sweep away from justice for the people and towards victory for the gas and oil giant. The SP3 implicitly states that PT Lapindo Brantas is not responsible for the mudflow on the grounds that the disaster was naturally occurring and neither industrial nor man-made. The fact that the regional police would back an order such as the SP3 may come as no surprise to the mudflow victims for, as Gus Maksum argues in his book, ‘The villagers believe that the ultimate goal [has been] to remove the people from their village’. At this point, the East Java Regional Police are clearly more concerned with the interests of PT Lapindo Brantas than with those of the victims.

The SP3 has lent a new air of credibility to PT Lapindo Brantas’s denials of culpability. It has allowed the firm – owned by Aburizal Bakrie, a former minister and one of Indonesia’s richest individuals – to continually postpone the payment of compensation that it is obliged, under Presidential Regulation 14/2007, to provide to mudflow victims for their losses. Under that regulation the government ordered Lapindo Brantas to pay for damage to villagers’ property by compensating losses in two payments: 20 percent of the total amount immediately following the order, and the remaining 80 percent in a second payment one month before the displaced households faced the end of their two-year home rental contracts in July 2008.

From the disaster’s earliest days, scientific experts have been collecting and reviewing data in an effort to deduce the origins of the mudflow. While it does not seem likely that the global community of geoscientists will reach a united conclusion any time soon, the debate itself has become a hot political issue. On one side stand scientists who, much like Lapindo, assert that the mudflow was a natural disaster triggered by tectonic activity along the Watukosek fault during the Yogyakarta earthquake of 27 May 2006. Countering their claims, however, is a broader circle of scientific experts who point to growing evidence that drilling pressures caused an underground blowout in Banjar Panji-1 well, triggering the mudflow and therefore making it an industrial disaster. One of these scientists – Richard Davies, an expert on mud volcanoes at Britain’s Durham University – has led expert investigations into the mudflow and its effects on Sidoarjo since 2006. In June 2008 he went on record saying ‘We are more certain than ever that the Lusi mud volcano is an unnatural disaster and was triggered by drilling the Banjar-Panji-1 well.’ In February 2010, he and a group of experts made international news again by releasing a report outlining new evidence that an operating error committed by PT Lapindo Brantas was what led to the disaster.

The East Java Regional Police issued the SP3 despite the weight of expert opinion, and despite new evidence it has not yet been revoked. We have all become witnesses to the creation of a painful precedent, one in which the law fails to serve the best interests of victims. In cases like this, literature becomes an even more important and powerful public medium. It brings readers close to the lived experiences of those displaced by the mudflow disaster. Gus Maksum’s warm, conversational tone connects readers personally to more than just a moment in history: it connects them to the truth.

S.H. Maksum Zuber, Titanic Made by Lapindo, Yogyakarta: Lafadl Pustaka and The Taiwan Foundation for Democracy, 2009.

Bosman Batubara (http://annelis.wordpress.com) is a Masters student in the
Interuniversity Programme on Water Resources Engineering, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven and Vrije Universiteit Brussel.
He was formerly a community organiser at Lafadl Initiatives, working with victims of the mudflow on a women’s economic empowerment project. He would like to thank Rayna Rusenko for assistance in preparing this review.
Inside Indonesia 105: Jul-Sep 2011

 

 


LAPINDO BRANTAS AND THE MUD VOLCANO
SIDOARJO, INDONESIA

 

 


 Bakrie, Vampires and Presidents
Posted on September 15, 2011 by Oigal
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Well the Drum did promise another football post but the latest news that the chief mud brother was to be nominated as the GOLKAR Indonesia Presidential Candidate in 2014 did warrant its own post.

It was widely reported this week that Indonesia’s second-largest political party Golkar on Monday picked tycoon and power-broker Aburizal Bakrie as its presidential candidate for elections in 2014. “The entire board of Golkar agreed on one thing — that Bakrie would become our presidential candidate in 2014,” the state news agency Antara quoted Ketut Sudikerta, the chairman of Golkar’s Bali chapter.

One has to wonder at the voting intentions of the 40,000 plus residents of the 12 (or is 15 now) villages displaced by the toxic, mud flow that still flows from a drill site operated by his family gas company, Lapindo Brantas.

Of course, the his supporters deny allegations of responsibility in regards to the ongoing mudflow and lack luster government response. We should not forget that the person in question was also Minister for People Welfare at the time. Serious, don’t laugh its true, you couldn’t make this stuff up.

I guess we must take his supporters seriously as they are the same supporters who deny that the Bakries and their companies are mired in allegations of corruption and tax fraud saying such allegations are “baseless and untrue” Yet curiously these rumours will just not die. Certainly the Vampire like resurrection of the family companies from near bankruptcy time and again has raised eyebrows in the financial community. Certainly the effort of our very own Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Sri Mulyani failed to drive a stake through their black hearts. Indeed, she was exiled and us thus far resisted calls to return to the fight.

Perhaps the best way to the truth would be to google, Gayus (Where is he anyway now? Seems to have disappeared), Bakrie, LapIndo and for a laugh “Tennis in Bali with Gayus”

As an interesting aside “Ical” Aburizal’s local polite nickname nickname (as opposed to some of the more common names heard) actually means Vampire in the lexion of the neddortnwod people. There may be some truth to that as it is spoken in whispers in village huts across the country that a picture of the ousted reformer, vampire slayer and finance minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati thrust towards Ical’s face will still cause him to cringe and hiss in the fashion of the undead facing a cross. It may be just a village myth, however it is reported that across the country that people are beginning to wear Sri Mulyani for president badges in place of the more traditional garlands of garlic for protection.

Still it could be funnier, we could end up with PKS politician (Not sure what PKS stands for anymore, going on recent alleged sandals Porn Kollective Society but that would cynical) , Tifatul Sembiring as a nominee. You remember him. He was the guy who went into such orgasmic rapture when First Lady Obama shook his hand, he could not even accurately recall what occurred without tweeting versions of the event that never even occurred.

Alternatively, we still the chance that many Presidential Candidates may be elected but be unable to travel overseas without fears of being arrested from Human Rights Abuses.

Ah Indonesian Democracy, going to be interesting time between now and 2014.

 





Bakrie Group Denies Lapindo Pay Delay

Dessy Sagita | September 26, 2011

The Bakrie Group denies there has been any delay in the compensation for land affected by the Lapindo mudflow.

“The full financial commitment will be completed as per the 2009 agreement, which is on or before December 2012,” said Christopher K. Fong, the international spokesman for the group.

Earlier this week, East Java Governor Soekarwo told Vice President Boediono during a visit to the area that Bakrie subsidiary Minarak Lapindo Jaya, the holding company for the gas drilling firm widely blamed for causing the mudflow, had only paid compensation for 72 percent of the inundated lands.

Soekarwo urged the company to pay out at least 80 percent by the end of the year.

But Fong said the Bakrie family had provided $650 million for the affected residents, and said the number equated to 13,000 families or 40,000 individuals.

The remaining financial support amounts to $130 million and is being disbursed according to schedule, Fong said.

He declined to respond to Boediono’s proposal that the impacted land be turned into a “nature recreation” area.

Boediono said he would require Soekarwo and the district heads to use the land rather than leave it abandoned.

But Fong said the area impacted by the mudflow required greater scientific research to verify that the mud was not toxic and to see if plant life could survive.

“We are not even sure if the technology exists to helps us answer these questions,” he said.

The mudflow, which began erupting in May 2006 after the blowout of one of Lapindo’s natural gas wells, has destroyed hundreds of homes, swamped 720 hectares of land and displaced thousands of people.

The Sidoarjo Mudflow Mitigation Agency (BPLS) said on Wednesday that the area was under continued threat, and raised the alert level for residents living nearby .

The agency said that the underground mud volcano had begun to erupt again after lying virtually dormant for years, threatening to overflow and hit residential areas, potentially cutting off roads and railways.

Authorities added another meter to the height of the dikes and reinforced them with rocks held together by chicken wire. But rain could worsen the surging mudflow and cause the dikes to weaken.

 

 


Lake Lapindo, also known as Mr Bakrie's swimming pool

My trip to Indonesia wasn't just to escape the state-of-war-and-siege that had been declared in the centre of Sydney for APEC, but also to work on a couple of my other research projects. Nevertheless, I had time to do a bit of disaster tourism, visiting the poisonous mud volcano that was created in Sidoarjo, just south of Surabaya airp

My trip to Indonesia wasn't just to escape the state-of-war-and-siege that had been declared in the centre of Sydney for APEC, but also to work on a couple of my other research projects. Nevertheless, I had time to do a bit of disaster tourism, visiting the poisonous mud volcano that was created in Sidoarjo, just south of Surabaya airport.

I was running late for the Panji festival because my plane from Jakarta to Surabaya had been cancelled, as had all the planes to Surabaya that morning. I feared another airport disaster, but it turned out that they just decided to close down Surabaya airport, the busiest hub to Eastern Indonesia, because the President was visiting! And they wonder why Indonesia has problems with national productivity (while I was in Jakarta Kompas had a great expose on this kind of self-important overkill that preoccupies Indonesian public officials. One of their journalists got hold of the—illegal—price-lists that local police stations produce for those who want to hold motorcades. You too can stuff up the traffic, for a price).

Anyway, despite being 4 hours late, I couldn't resist stopping off on the road to Malang to see the Lapindo disaster. For those not familiar with this, just over a year ago employees of the company Lapindo were doing exploratory drilling when they set off a huge eruption of poisonous mud. There are various accounts of how this occurred. Mr Bakrie, one of the owners of Lapindo, but also a government minister, claims it is entirely natural, and he continues in his post. Others more expert claim that it is because the drillers did not follow procedures—basically they cut corners to save time and money by not using proper casings on the drills. Whatever the cause, the mud continues to flood out. It has destroyed a major highway, ruined factories and other forms of livelihood, and most importantly wiped out the houses of between 12,000 and 13,000 people. The mud is still hot, and the sulphurous smell is horrendous. A number of people have already died in attempts to stop the flow (including the dropping of large concrete balls down the main source).

The victims of the disaster show sightseers around. For Rp20,000 you can get a bike ride up to the central lake, and other enterprising people have made DVDs of the event, including the related explosion of a Pertamina gasline in November 2006. The people in the area claim to have received small amounts of payment from Lapindo for six months, but so far have not received any real compensation, and are reliant on government handouts. Predictions are that the eruption is creating a huge vacuum under the mud lake, and that the whole area could collapse.

 

Lapindo Mud and Bakrie's Responsibility



Who doesn’t know Aburizal Bakrie? A well-known Indonesian tycoon, who is also known as the richest man in South East Asia, has been dealing with lots of problems in his life, including the ‘Lapindo Mud’ problem which has made thousands of innocent people homeless till now. Okay, for you who has no idea of this notorious ‘Lapindo Mud’ case, let me give you a brief detail of what really happened years ago. Below is a quote I took from a local magazine in 2006.

“With the Bakrie Group out of its financial mess, along came the mud to entrap it once more. The mud seepage at the PT. Lapindo Brantas drilling site at Porong, Sidoardjo in East Java that began as far back as May this year is still spluttering away, so far having swallowed a toll road, the Pertamina gas pipeline and the livelihoods of thousands of people.

The government has been adamant that the company has to bear the cost of compensation programs, although the Sidoardjo administration has also had to put its hands into its pockets. At the end of last year, senior figures in the government, not least Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati, were battling to limit the damage to the stage budget.

Aburizal Bakrie found himself in a dilemma. Speaking on November 22 in his capacity as chief social welfare minister, the said Lapindo should be held responsible for the drilling accident. “The important thing is the well-being of the people who live in the area. It is not important who controls Lapindo, the company is the one who should be held responsible.”

The comment came after Fuad Rahmany, the head of capital market watchdog Bapepam, said a move by Lapindo’s parent company, PT Energi Mega Persada, to sell stakes in firms that control Lapindo was “not appropriate”.

Sri Mulyani, Rahmany’s boss, also backed up Bapepam’s stance on the divestment. Aburizal Bakrie appealed for the Lapindo divestment to be kept out of politics, but given that the disaster has brought such enormous costs to the public and the state, it’s hard to see how it can be kept out of the political arena.

The Financial Times added to the speculation that the Bakrie Group was trying in some way to dodge responsibility when it disclosed the presence of James Belcher behind the Freehold Group, which was to buy the distressed Lapindo assets until the company scrapped the plan at the end of November.

Freehold is registered in the tax haven of the British Virgin Islands, and Belcher himself is a long time friend of Aburizal Bakrie. No details were provided on Freehold’s position on compensation for victims of the all-engulfing mud.

In an interview with FT, Belcher admitted he had engaged in some deals with Bakrie family in the last 25 years. No details are available on what those deals may have been, but an internet search reveals that a James Belcher is implicated in an influence-buying case involving Senator Chris Dodd (Democrat, Connecticut). Dodd, the general chair of the Democrat National Convention during the ’96 election cycle, has repeatedly scoffed at the notion he had anything to do with fundraising drives, now at the heart of government probes.

Belcher has also served as president of Lewis and Peat Rubber L.P., a company that filled for bankcruptcy in 2000. Lewis & Peat, a trading company with activities in Singapore, London, and Connecticut, was a subsidiary of Bakrie’s PT Bakrie Sumatra Plantation Tbk….. “

Well, if Bakrie is so rich, why doesn’t he hold responsibility for all those people? Another injustice has happened in Indonesia. And as usual, the poor are victimized here.

 

 

 

 


15 New Parties Register For 2014
Fifteen new political parties registered for the 2014 general elections ahead of the deadline on Monday night, an official said.
Ronna Nirmala | 12:37 AM August 23, 2011

Fifteen new political parties registered for the 2014 general elections ahead of the deadline on Monday night, an official said.
Sucipto, a spokesman for the Justice and Human Rights Ministry, said the registration closed on Monday at 11:59 p.m.

The Pancasila Democracy Party was the last to register at about 9 p.m. One party that had already registered with the ministry, the Indonesian Nation Sovereignty Party, withdrew its name on Monday without explanation.

Also on Monday, representatives of the Independent People’s Union Party (SRI) submitted some paperwork to complete the registration process it started on Aug. 3. SRI has earned a lot of media coverage for a party its size because of its stated intention to nominate Sri Mulyani Indrawati, the former finance minister and World Bank managing director, as its presidential candidate for 2014.

Achmad Gelora, a ministry official, said the National Republic Party (Nasrep), founded by Hutomo “Tommy” Mandala Putra Suharto, the youngest son of the late President Suharto, also registered for the elections.

Other parties of note to register were the National Democratic Party, linked to Golkar executive Surya Paloh, and the United National Party (PPN), founded by the heads of 12 political parties that failed to win seats in the House of Representatives in the 2009 elections.

The Insulinde National Prosperity Party (Partai Kemakmuran Bangsa Nusantara or PKBN), founded by Yenny Wahid, the daughter of the late former President Abdurrahman “Gus Dur” Wahid, appears to be the new name for the faction of the National Awakening Party (PKB) that she has headed for some time.

Yenny said the PKBN had not officially decided on a presidential candidate. She added, however, that “if most of my supporters agree, then Mahfud will be the PKBN’s sole candidate for the presidency.” She was referring to Constitutional Court chairman Muhammad Mahfud.

Other new parties include the Satria Piningit Party (Chosen Knight Party), the Republican Works Party (PAKAR), the Republican Struggle Party, the Independent Party, the One Republic Party, the Indonesian People’s Force Party, the Thoriqot Islam Party and the
Awakening Great Indonesia Party. The 74 existing registered parties did not need to reregister, but will be subject to verification, Sucipto said.

Achmad said verification would start this week and continue until Sept. 22. The names of the parties that passed the verification would be announced about three weeks after that, he said.

Meanwhile, Apung Widadi, a researcher at Indonesia Corruption Watch, said none of the nine parties at the House had submitted their financial statement for an audit by the BPK, the state audit agency.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Indonesia Digest

 

 Global Digest

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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