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Response to the Montara Wellhead Platform incident

Report of the Incident Analysis team into the response by the National Plan to Combat Pollution of the Sea by Oil and Other Noxious and hazardous Substances, to the Montara Wellhead Platform incident, March 2010.

At approximately 5.30 am Australian Western Standard Time (AWST) (7.30 am Australian Eastern Standard Time [AEST]) on Friday 21 August 2009, the Montara Wellhead Platform located 140 nautical miles (approximately 260 kilometres) offshore from the northwest Australian coast, had an uncontrolled release of hydrocarbons from one of the platform wells. Consequently oil escaped to the surface and gaseous hydrocarbons escaped into the atmosphere. The oil spill resulted in the activation of the National Plan, managed by AMSA.

This report provides strategic recommendations for improvements to the National Plan arrangements and identify any lessons learned to improve future major incident responses.

Read the report on the response to the Montara Wellhead Platform incident, August 2009.

In a statement published on 22 March 2018, AMSA acknowledged documents that indicate oil from the from the Montara wellhead spill was sighted closer to the Indonesian coast than previously stated and reported publicly.

AMSA conducted operational monitoring of the Montara oil spill to inform response decisions in real time. The data was collated into the following post incident reports:

Further information on the scientific monitoring program being conducted on the Montara oil spill incident is available from the Department of the Environment and Energy.

  1. Operational monitoring study O2—Monitoring of oil character, fate and effects, Report 01: Oil character
  2. Operational monitoring study O2—Monitoring of oil character, fate and effects, Report 02: Water quality
  3. Operational monitoring study O2—Monitoring of oil character, fate and effects, Report 03: Dispersant treated oil distribution.

Last updated: 

Friday 8 June 2018