Montara oil field well plugged on fifth attempt

An oil well that has been leaking huge quantities of oil into the Timor Sea, off the coast of Western Australia for 10 weeks has been plugged and a fire raging on the rig finally put out, according to PTT Exploration & Production Pcl.

The company announced this afternoon that its fifth attempt at plugging the leak has been successful and the main fire at the Montara well head platform had been stopped.

Oil started leaking from the well on 21 August at the Montara oilfield near the West Atlas oil rig, more than 200 km northwest of Western Austraia's Kimberley coastline.

During an attempt to plug the oil well with heavy mud on Sunday a fire broke out at the wellhead platform and the West Atlas oil rig the Bangkok-based said.

The company said that some material on the top of the West Atlas rig might be on fire but is expected to be extinguish by itself when the fuel burns out.

According to well control experts on the West Triton relief rig nearby, they had pumped approximately 3400 barrels of heavy mud down the same relief well that had successfully intercepted the leaking well on Sunday morning.