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. . . . .Drilling blamed for Java mudflow - - THE FOLLOWING NEWS ITEM CONFIRMS MY SUSPICION ABOUT THE DAMAGES DONE BY MULTINATIONAL OIL COMPANIES IN THEIR SEARCH FOR OIL AND GAS.JANUARY 24-2007 - - - - - - -





A new report says "it is very likely" that the
mud flow was man made(GALLO-GETTY)



A mud volcano that has inundated dozens of Indonesian villages and forced thousands to flee, was probably triggered by commercial gas drilling, scientists say, contradicting a minister who said it was a natural disaster.

A report in the Geological Society of America's journal, GSA Today, said "it is very likely" that the mud flow was man made.




Aburizal Bakrie, the Indonesian welfare minister whose family controls the PT Lapindo Brantas drilling company at the centre of the scandal, has said repeatedly that the geyser in Sidoarjo, eastern Java, was sparked by a May 27 earthquake and that his company bears no financial liability.






But the team led by Richard Davies, a professor at the University of Durham in northeastern England, believes drilling at a depth of nearly 3km ruptured a highly pressurised pocket of hot gas and water which created fissures in a bed of porous limestone, causing the volcano to spew out mud.

"It is standard industry procedure that this kind of drilling requires the use of steel casing to support the borehole, to protect against the pressure of fluids such as water, oil or gas," Davies said.

"In the case of Lusi, pressured limestone rock containing water … was drilled while the lower part of the borehole was exposed and not protected by casing.

"As a result, rocks fractured and a mix of mud and water worked its way to the surface.

Our research brings us to the conclusion that the incident was most probably the result of drilling."

The scientists said the flow could last for months or years, causing the earth to sink.

An area of at least 10 sq km will be uninhabitable for years, and over 11,000 people will be permanently displaced.

Davies said the case in Indonesia was similar to one that happened offshore of Brunei in 1979.


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