Mining, oil & gas

Down to Earth No. 56, February 2003

The British oil company BP has been accused of negligence in maintaining gas collection pipes at its offshore Pagerungan gas field near Madura in East Java. The president of state oil company Pertamina, Baihaki Hakim, said in January that BP should have anticipated a possible gas leak but had "failed to deal with it". The leaks forced BP to shut down five gas fields in the Pagerungan contract area, reducing gas supply to Java-based industries to 100,000 million cubic feet per day from 180,000 million cf/d.

Down to Earth No 56  February 2003

The severely damaging impacts of mining on women have been highlighted in a new report, launched by Oxfam Community Aid Abroad on November 25th, International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.

Oxfam Community Aid's report, Tunnel Vision: Women, Mining and Communities, is a compilation of papers presented at a forum convened in Melbourne in June last year to explore the impacts of mining on women in local communities.

Down to Earth No 56  February 2003


The efforts of UK-based mining company Rio Tinto to convince the world of its commitment to human rights have suffered another blow. According to media reports, in December, the family of human rights defender and poet Wiji Thukul rejected a human rights award funded by the company. For the past two years, Rio Tinto has contributed funds to the Yap Thiam Hien Human Rights Award, won this year by Wiji Thukul, who has been missing since 1996.

Down to Earth No 55  November 2002


Human rights workers, witnesses, their families and friends are coming under intense pressure following the August 31st killings of three people near the Freeport/Rio Tinto mine in West Papua.

The three victims - one Indonesian and two Americans - were killed when gunmen opened fire on the school bus that was taking them back to the mining town of Tembagapura. Twelve others were reported injured in the attack.

Down to Earth No 55  November 2002


Australia's Aurora Gold has closed its notorious Kalimantan gold mine, but indigenous Dayaks want compensation for the negative impacts they have suffered.

On July 30th 2002, indigenous Siang, Murung and Bakumpai Dayak communities from Central Kalimantan filed a lawsuit at the South Jakarta state court, against PT Indo Muro Kencana (IMK), the gold mining company owned by Australia's Aurora Gold.

Down to Earth No 55  November 2002



Kalimantan border oil palm?

East Kalimantan governor Abdul Fatah said his administration is looking into the possibility of developing oil palm plantations near the province's border with Sabah, Malaysia, to create jobs for a million migrant workers expelled from Malaysia.

Down to Earth No 53-54  August 2002


The world's biggest oil company is fighting a human rights lawsuit by claiming that the case will upset US relations with Indonesia.

Exxon described Indonesia as "a place where al-Quaeda-trained fighters are residing" at an April hearing of International Labor Rights Fund's lawsuit against the company.