30 Oct 2009

Leaking Timor oil well not easy to plug

1:49 pm on 30 October 2009

The company responsible for an oil leak in the Timor Sea has warned that it may not stop for several more weeks.

It is estimated that more than 400 barrels of oil a day has been discharged into the ocean since an underground pipe ruptured at a well operated by PTTEP Australasia almost 10 weeks ago.

Director Jose Martins says it could take several more attempts to plug the well.

PTTEP now plans to try again this weekend.

The ABC reports Indonesian authorities have confirmed contamination in their waters.

Meanwhile, there is confirmation of a second gas leak in the Timor Sea.

The Northern Territory Government says a small amount of non-harmful gas has escaped from the Puffin oil field, which is operated by Chinese oil and gas company, Sinopec.

The ABC reports the leak was discovered early last month as part of a routine inspection.

The Puffin field lies about 50km north west of the West Atlas oil rig, where oil is leaking.

The Territory Government says the company will take measures to cap the gas leak. The amount of gas that has escaped from the well is not known.