Pertamina hopes to reveal external factors of Balikpapan oil spill after lifting the broken pipeline

Pertamina removed the broken pipeline in Balikpapan Bay under the supervision of the Navy, the Regional Police and the Attorney General. The removal of the pipeline was done by Pertamina at the request of the East Kalimantan Police as part of investigation on the cause of the broken pipe. Pertamina used the Sea Haven 2 Ships equipped with cranes to removed the pipeline.

There are 3 pieces of pipe that need to be removed. One piece of pipe was removed today (19/4) and two parts will be removed tomorrow (20/4). Pipe cutting and installation of sling was done by 19 divers who have received permission from the Directorate General of Sea Transportation, KSOP, and the Regional Police. The divers work in teams of eight, alternately underwater for 45 minutes each. The pipe cutting that was done under water takes a long time, so the pipe removal was aligned with the time of cutting the pipe. In addition, the removal must consider the weather and undersea currents.

The pipe removal process itself takes approximately 2 hours after the lifting latch is attached to the pipe.

The pipe will be placed in one of Pertamina RU V's Jetty for investigation and reconstruction by the Police. The 3 pieces of pipes is estimated will arrive at the jetty on Saturday morning.

As we know, Pertamina's 20 inch diameter pipeline with a corrosive prevention concrete layer at a depth of 22 meters in Balikpapan Bay has been pulled up to 120 meters from the initial location then breaks.

Until now the pipe break is suspected caused by external factors. The Police will conduct an investigation and reconstruction to determine the cause.

 “This check was done to calculate the cutting point of the pipe and the removal technique,” said Yudi Nugraha, Regional Manager of Communication and CSR Pertamina Kalimantan.

Yudi added, the pipeline replacement will be done immediately after the investigation process is complete. “There are 22 joint (1 joint = 12 meters) pipe size of 20 inch to replace the broken pipe that has been prepared in Refinery Unit VI Balongan. As soon as the investigation process is complete, Pertamina will replace the pipes,” Yudy concluded.

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