A major oil spill has occurred in Balikpapan Bay on the coast of the Indonesian province of East Kalimantan, following the rupture of an oil pipeline running beneath the bay. The pipeline, which is operated by the state-owned oil company Pertamina, is believed to have been hit by a bulk coal carrier, the MV Ever Judger, on Friday 30 March 2018, with one section of the pipeline displaced by about 100 m. The resultant slick is about 4 km in length, and has produced fumes which have caused problems in the city of Balikpapan, as well as having ignited in a number of places, with one fire having killed five fishermen on a boat in the bay on Saturday 31 March.
Fires burning on an oil slick in Balikpapan Bay, East Kalimantan. ABC News.
The spill has badly damaged the livelihoods of fishermen operating in the bay, and is likely to continue to do so, as clearing up the slick is likely to be a lengthy process. The oil appears to have badly impacted the local wildlife, including populations of Marine Mammals, with at least one Dugong known to have died.
A Dugong, Dugong dugong, found dead in Balikpapan Bay. Jatam.
Follow Sciency Thoughts on Facebook.