Balikpapan Oil Spill’s Broken Pipe Will be Removed

Following the investigation of Pertamina’s broken crude pipeline that connecting Lawe-Lawe Terminal and Balikpapan Refinery, the broken pipe will be removed in the near future. The removal is for the purpose to investigate who should be responsible for breaking this pipeline. Not only suffered by damaged assets and crude loss, Pertamina also has to pay the cost of environmental recovery due to the incident. Until now, the police are still investigating who and what causes the pipe line to break.

“We’re goint to check all related parties, either from Pertamina or the ship’s owner and crews,” said Police Chief Commissioner Yustan Alpiani, Director of Special Criminal Investigation of East Kalimantan Regional Police.

Kalimantan Regional Communication & CSR Manager Yudy Nugraha explained, "We are fully supportive of this investigation, and we are currently preparing a diver team to be able to cut the pipes under police surveillance." Yudy further explained that the prepared pipes amount to around 22 joints with a length of 12 meters each.

Currently Pertamina is delivering crude oil from the Lawe Lawe Crude Terminal to Balikpapan refinery using 16-inch subsea pipeline. Reported earlier that the 20-inch crude oil pipe was cut off. The temporary allegations of the causes of this incidents is external forces. As the broken pipe was removed, the Police will conduct an investigation to find the cause of this incident.

The pipe was in good conditiond and has been inspected periodically before it was cut off. Last inspection was on December 10, 2017 by diver who inspect the pipe external condition, cathodic protection and spot thickness. The final certification inspection was conducted on October 25, 2016, certificate of the feasibility of equipment usage (also known as SKPP or sertifikat kelayakan penggunaan peralatan) issued by the Director General of Oil and Gas is still valid until October 26, 2019. The certification renewal is every three years according to SKPP Migas.

Pertamina’s pipe with 12.7 mm thickness was of material carbon steel pipe API 5L Grade X42. The strength of the pipe to the pressure was measured from the Safe Maximum Allowable Operating Pressure (MAOP), 1061.42 pounds per square inch gauge (Psig), while the operating pressure on the pipeline is only 170.67 Psig.

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