The government says that it will seek compensation from Australia for environmental damage in the Timor Sea caused by a leak at the Montara well.
“We have finished calculating our material loss due to the Timor Sea’s contamination and will ask the Australian government for compensation soon,” Environment Minister Gusti Muhammad Hatta said on Wednesday.
The well is said to have spewed at least 500 million liters of oil into the sea over a 10-week period before it was successfully plugged last month.
Hatta said he recently informed his Australian counterpart that Indonesia was calculating its material losses as a result of the pollution. Hatta added that he expected the Australian government to be serious about resolving the matter to prevent further damage in the affected area.
The minister credited Canberra with taking steps to try and resolve the issue, but said Indonesia needed to take firm action by seeking compensation based on international law.
It is claimed that the leak, which first began on Aug. 20, has contaminated thousands of square kilometers of ocean and killed vast amounts of wildlife.
World Wildlife Fund Australia warned that the spill — the worst in Australia for 40 years — and chemicals used to disperse it, could affect fish stocks and other marine life for generations. The group has described the disaster as an overwhelming environmental tragedy.