JAKARTA – Indonesian Civil Society Coalition Publish What You Pay (PWYP) urges the government to terminate the cooperation contract with Lapindo Brantas Inc., both exploration and exploitation activities in Sidoarjo. The government’s move which only temporarily halted and will review the Tangggulangin 6 and 10 well drilling plans in Kedungbanteng Village, Tanggulangin District, Siodarjo Regency, East Java, is considered inadequate to resolve problems in the field.

Aryanto Nugroho, PWYP Indonesia Advocacy and Network Manager, said that the gas well drilling effort by PT Lapindo Brantas, which was deemed not to have complete licensing, had become a sufficient reason to revoke the Lapindo Brantas operating license. “What happened in Kaliwungu Hamlet, Banjarasri Village, Tanggulangin District, Sidoarjo Regency in the last few days, only shows that the Lapindo Brantas operation is full of problems, ranging from licensing aspects, technical operational standards for exploration or exploitation, to accidental Lapindo Brantas in handling social and social aspects, “he said Wednesday (1/14).

According to Aryanto, the government should learn from the experience of Lapindo Brantas in handling hot mudflow in Porong, which since 2006 until now has not been completed, due to the company’s carelessness in conducting exploration in the Banjar Panji 1 well (BJ-1). “The impact we have seen together, namely the death of the coffers of social, economic, and environmental life of the people of Sidoarjo. Not to mention the state money that must be spent to cover compensation and provide bailouts for Lapindo Brantas, “explained Aryanto.

The review of the Lapindo Brantas drilling permit indicated the weakness of the planning and supervision function of the Director-General of Oil and Gas at the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, SKK Migas, and the Regional Government. “The government seems to turn a blind eye to public rejection of Lapindo Brantas activities. Supposedly, the incident in Banjarasri Village will not occur if the government carries out its functions properly, “added Aryanto.

Fatihul Faizun, Coordinator of the Policy Advocacy Center (PUSAKA) of Sidoarjo said that the distance of the new wells to the residential areas was only 105 meters and was quite close to the hot mudflow point which was still active, giving concern as well as trauma to the people of what had happened to Sidoarjo residents before.

The well drilling plan at the Tanggulangin Well (TGA) -6 in the TGA-1 and Tanggulangin (TGA) -10 wells in the TGA-2 well pad close to the settlement reminded the community of 9 years ago where the location of the BJP-1 Well drilling was 5 meters from residential areas, 37 meters from public facilities (Surabaya – Gempol toll road) and less than 100 meters from Pertamina’s gas pipeline. In addition to the BJP-1 Well, there are several exploitation wells (already in production) managed by LBI that are located less than 100 meters from the settlement, namely Wunut-3, Wunut-4, Wunut-5, Wunut-6, Wunut-16 Wunut-20, and Carat-1. While the Wunut-19 and Carat-2 wells are also estimated to be less than 100 meters from public facilities and gas pipelines.

“Unfortunately the community has never gotten accurate information, especially those related to environmental impacts due to the drilling plan. Following PP No. 27 of 2012 concerning Environmental Permits, in the process of granting environmental permits, including the UKL-UPL, the company is obliged to inform the community at the location of the drilling activity and the community has the right to give their opinion and response to the permit. Instead of getting the right information, the community is even faced with the mobilization of hundreds of officers, which actually increases public unrest, “explained Faizun.

In fact, he continued, if indeed the company had stated that it had received permission and risk mitigation had been carried out, the results should be made public. The public has the right to know the potential risks of drilling operations. Not only does it prevent the confusion of information, but the public can also supervise, “added Faizun.

Dakelan, Coordinator of the Indonesian Forum for Budget Transparency (FITRA) of East Java, said that the granting of permits for drilling locations for oil and gas wells adjacent to settlements and public facilities and vital objects was not following Indonesian National Standards Agency No. 13-6910-2002 concerning onshore and offshore drilling operations in Indonesia this provision states that wells must be allocated at least 100 meters from public roads, railroad tracks, public works, housing or other places where sources of ignition can arise. “The granting of permits for the location of oil and gas exploration wells in residential areas is also not following Presidential Instruction No. 1/1976 concerning synchronizing the implementation of tasks in the field of diagramming with the fields of forestry, mining, transmigration, and public works and Law No. 11/1967, “said Dakelan.

In addition, the pretext of paying Lapindo Brantas’s debt to the government in the amount of Rp.781 billion for compensation for mudflow victims 6 years ago as the main reason for drilling cannot be justified. “There is no guarantee that Lapindo will use this oil and gas drilling revenue to pay off debts with a payment deadline of only 3 years. Coupled with Lapindo’s track record which until now has not completed compensation, “Dakelan said.