Indonesia plans to sue PTTEP over 2009 oil spill

A handout photo from PTTEP Australasia shows the fire on the West Atlas drilling rig and the Montara wellhead platform in the Timor Sea, about 250km Australia's northwest coast, on Nov 2, 2009.

JAKARTA - Indonesia is preparing to sue a unit of Thailand's PTT Exploration and Production (PTTEP) for environmental damage from the Montara oil spill in 2009, the country's Coordinating Maritime Affairs Ministry said.

The move follows earlier attempts at negotiation that stalled in 2012, and a separate class action suit filed by a group of about 15,000 Indonesian seaweed farmers seeking more than A$200 million (US$154 million) from PTTEP Australasia to cover damages from the spill.

A total of about 30,000 barrels of oil were estimated to have spewed into the Timor Sea over 74 days after an explosion at PTTEP's Montara drilling rig off Australia's northwest coast in 2009.

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