State-owned oil and gas company, PT Pertamina, said on Saturday its operations in Balikpapan, East Kalimantan, were proceeding as normal despite an oil spill that led to a fire. The fire left two dead and one other injured. Pertamina, which manages Refinery Unit V in Balikpapan has denied that the spill was a result of its operations.
Balikpapan Police are investigating the cause of the spill and the fire.
“First, the spill is not crude oil, but marine fuel oil or MFO,” Pertamina’s general manager for Refinery Unit V, Togar MP, said on Saturday in Balikpapan.
MFO is a fuel used by ships. The spill was spotted from Jetty 2 of Semayang Port to Kampung Atas Air, Mekarsari, an area north of the refinery unit.
Togar said Pertamina’s investigation of all its installations at Balikpapan Bay found no leakage. Neither did it find any leakage from the undersea pipeline connecting Lawe-Lawe Terminal to the refinery unit, he added.
However, Pertamina had deployed a team once it was alerted to the spill at 3 a.m. on Saturday. The team helped prevent the spill from spreading too far, Togar said. The team also took a sample to identify the source and found that the spill was not from Pertamina’s operation.
Togar said teams from Pertamina and private oil company Chevron Indonesia helped extinguish the fire.
The fire left two fishermen dead and injured a crewmember of the vessel MV Ever Judger 2, which was docked in the bay.