The Montara Incident

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The Montara Incident

On 21 August 2009 Montara experienced a well control incident resulting in an uncontrolled release of oil and gas into the marine environment lasting 74 days.

The initial emergency response activities were carried out professionally, with all 69 people on-board the West Atlas rig safely evacuated and transported to Darwin.

PTTEP immediately accepted full responsibility for the incident and the response operations that followed, and has since funded extensive independent environmental monitoring and research to confirm there were no lasting negative impacts on the region’s biodiversity.

In August 2011 the company pleaded guilty to four charges in the Darwin Magistrates Court relating to workplace health and safety and failure to maintain good oilfield practice. The company was fined a total of $510,000. This concluded all government legal matters in relation to the Montara incident.

Timor Sea Environmental Research

Independent scientific studies have shown there was little or no detectable impact from the spill on any marine eco-system or species in the Timor Sea.

One of PTTEP’s most important responses to the 2009 Montara incident was to commission a new world class body of independent scientific research into the marine life and ecosystems of the Timor Sea.

The result is the most comprehensive database ever generated of fish, birds, sea snakes and marine turtles, as well as shoreline and intertidal habitats for this region.

These findings are now providing scientists, industry and regulators with a benchmark against which to measure and manage the valuable economic, environmental and social resources of the region.

The full scientific studies are available on the Department of the Environment web page.



See the 2013 Report of Research for more information.



Click to Download the Montara Incident Outcomes Fact Sheet (567kb)

Montara Environmental Monitoring Program – 2009-2013: A Voyage of Discovery
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