Visit to view Java mud volcano created by drilling

Various technical topics related to science, energy, climate change and coal & gas.

Visit to view Java mud volcano created by drilling

Postby HVPA_research » Tue Feb 28, 2012 10:28 pm


The following image from Wikipedia shows Indonesian countryside devastated by a mud volcano that opened next to an oil/gas exploration bore (see Santos owned 18% of a project that was drilling in the area of the Sidoarjo mud flow when the disaster occurred and the company has put aside US$79 million towards the cleanup


Now there is an opportunity to see this mud volcano first hand - an invitation for this excursion follows:


Hi everyone,
Robert Banks, our local and very well respected soil scientist, has just returned from Java where he visited the mudflows. He is keen to get a group together to visit this area. Please see his letter below. There is a mass of information on the internet to further research this issue. Wikepedia has the following site - as an introductory. Reuters has covered this issue in depth. If you would like to learn more please contact Robert.
Rosemary Nankivell

Dear All

As you know, SoilFutures Consulting Pty Ltd has been involved with community efforts to inject some common sense into the debates over coal seam gas in NSW on behalf of community members and organisations.

As head consultant for SoilFutures, it has been my privilege to work in Java twice in the past four months, and I am most concerned and appalled about what I have seen there with respect to gas drilling companies (one of whom is well known to us here) and the treatment of the community when things have gone wrong.

What you see in the photographs attached is the site of a gas drilling accident, which occurred at Lapindo near Surabaya in North east Java in 2006. The first slide is of the wall built to retain the mud from expanding further into villages and the city. The second slide is of the top of the wall, the third of the 1000 Ha of mud which is 1bout 18 m deep, and the forth of the still erupting mud, The area of mud now covers 16 villages, and adjacent farmland. The mud is still erupting at 10 000 cubic m+ per day. The surrounding land is subsiding.

Many people have lost their lives because of this “accident” as well as many more being displaced from their homes. To date, compensation to people who have lost loved ones and property, as well as their beautiful valley, amounts to a few dollars per month – not even enough to live on, let alone find a new home.

As I now have contacts within the University Brawijaya in nearby Malang, I would like to propose a field trip in May or June (dry season) for interested parties to

1. View this site, with translators and talk to the local people there about their problems.
2. Hear from some of the geologists and academics on their thoughts on the matter at Malang University.
3. And cap of the trip with a stay at one of Java’s active volcanoes Gunung Bromo (Mt Bromo), to aid in understanding what has happened, as well as to enjoy something unique which does not occur in Australia.

The trip would cost about A $3500 – 4000 for 6 days. SoilFutures Consulting Pty Ltd and its associates in Indonesia would organise accommodation, meals, translators, travel to and within Java and talks. Some of the moneys for the trip will go back into the communities affected by the mud flow, as well as to the University in Malang, which would appreciate a contribution towards equipment for their poorly resourced Laboratories.

I invite you, or your organisation to consider sending a delegate on this eye opening trip, as well as to circulate this email to those whom you think may benefit from the trip. This represents a unique opportunity to see an ongoing problem allegedly caused by gas drilling, performed by a company which is familiar to us all. On top of this, it presents a chance to meet the people affected, as well as experience a totally different culture to Australia, and promote some understanding of one of our nearest neighbouring countries about which most of us know very little.

I am hoping to get a critical mass of fifteen to twenty people to come on the trip, and I invite you to come along.

Thank you for taking the time to read this e-mail. I would like to hear back from any interested parties on or before March 30th.

Kind Regards

Robert Banks
Principal Soil Scientist
SoilFutures Consulting Pty Ltd
PO BOX 582

02 6742 7489
0427 431 512

Posts: 588
Joined: Thu Jun 18, 2009 10:26 pm

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