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Australia: Trial begins on class action brought by Indonesian seaweed farmers allegedly affected by PTTEP oil spill

Author: Reuters, SBS News, Published on: 16 June 2019

"Indonesian seaweed farmers seek $200 million over oil spill in Australia", 17 June 2019

Indonesian seaweed farmers were set to seek more than $200 million from Thailand's PTT Exploration and Production in a cover damage they say they suffered after Australia's worst oil spill.

The class action represents more than 15,000 seaweed farmers who claim to have lost their livelihoods in the years after oil gushed into the Timor Sea for more than 74 days following an explosion at the Montara oil rig in August 2009.

"We are now 10 years on from this environmental disaster and the oil company responsible and its wealthy Thai parent continue to deny the devastating impact their oil spewing out uncontrollably for months on end had on Indonesian seaweed farmers," Ben Slade, a lawyer at Maurice Blackburn, which is running the case, said in a statement.

...In 2016, when the class action was launched, PTTEP said it had always accepted responsibility for the Montara explosion but that satellite imagery, aerial surveys and models concluded no oil reached the Indonesian coastlines. 

It also said there had been "no lasting impact" on ecosystems in the areas closest to Indonesian waters....

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Related companies: Petroleum Authority of Thailand Exploration and Production (PTTEP)