A giant oil spill in the sea off the coast of Malaysia has left dozens dead and hundreds more injured, with the death toll expected to rise.
Key points:The giant oil pipeline ruptured off the island of Sulawesi near Kuala Lumpur on SundayAn Indonesian official said the pipeline had been used to transport liquefied natural gas (LNG) and fuel for fuel-burning carsAn Indonesian oil company has called for more testing and a closer look at the pipelineAn Indonesian court has ordered a three-month delay on any decision to allow construction of a second pipeline that will transport liquified natural gas.
The spill occurred on Sunday, when a tanker transporting gas leaked from the tanker tankers in a shallow cove near the town of Pulau Sarawak.
An Indonesian company said the leak occurred during construction work for a liquefaction terminal on the island.
The tanker was reportedly carrying a total of 5.2 million cubic metres of liquefying gas.
But the company said it was unclear how the leak could have occurred, with an Indonesian government official saying the leak appeared to have been caused by a pipeline rupture.
“We are very worried about the situation, as this is a huge oil spill,” said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Indonesia has about 2.8 million people living in its archipelago of 200,000 islands, and Pulau is one of the busiest shipping lanes.
Independently-owned Petrolodo said in a statement it was investigating the cause of the spill and was working with Malaysian authorities.
Malaysian officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Indians are a key buyer of LNG from the country’s giant state-owned petrochemical giant Petronas.
But Petrolodos president and chairman Abdul Basit, in a rare public statement on Monday, blamed the leak on “a mistake” and urged the government to conduct a thorough investigation.
“Petrolodas is very sorry for the loss of life,” Mr Basit said in the statement.
“The company will investigate the cause and take appropriate measures to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”
Petrozas spokesman David Gumbaran said the company was looking into the cause.
Indies are concerned about the spill, but not the spill itselfIndies in the region are also concerned about how the oil spill will affect the region.
“It will definitely impact on the way people are living, and that is a concern,” said Tim Hogg, chief executive of the Indonesian Association of Petroleum Users.
“Indonesians will be very worried and will have to work out how to cope with that.
They are very sensitive to the safety of the environment.”
Mr Hogg said Indonesia’s oil and gas industry was not as big as it was, and had become more regulated over the past 10 years.
“They are not as regulated as they used to be, but they are very careful about the regulations,” he said.
The state-run Anadolu news agency said it received a tip-off that the pipeline rupturing off Sulawedi was a major one and was sending oil and liquefiable gas from the nearby Petronavas LNG terminal into the sea.
It reported that an oil tanker was heading to the area, but there were no immediate reports of damage or injuries.
The company has been working on the project for years.
Petroozas had been expected to finish the pipeline before the end of 2018.
A Malaysian company, Petrona, said it had received the oil leak warning from Petroozas and would be taking a closer view of the pipeline on Monday.
Petronas has a fleet of 1,600 tankers and tankerers in the Strait of Malacca and the Gulf of Aden, transporting a total volume of about 100,000 tonnes of oil and about 4 million tonnes of liquified gas a year.