MELBOURNE, Sept. 15 -- PTTEP Australasia of Thailand has begun drilling a relief well to stop the oil leak from the Montara field wellhead platform in the Timor Sea. The company estimates that as much as 400 b/d of oil has been flowing from the wild well into the sea since the incident began on Aug. 21 (OGJ, Sept. 9, 2007, Newsletter).
The Seadrill Ltd. West Triton jack up will drill the relief well to a depth of 2,600 m for mud injection.
Alert Well Control is leading the operation, which could take several weeks to complete.
The spill has become Australia’s largest in 18 years.
The last major spill occurred in July 1991 when the Greek tanker Kirki lost its bow in heavy seas off Western Australia, releasing 17,280 tonnes of crude.