Tag Archives: resource stripping

Forum to Care for Papua’s Natural Resources Opposes ConocoPhillips Seismic Testing in Boven Digoel


September 5, 2013

It is not just plantations – oil and gas companies are also threatening to turn Southern West Papua into an industrial landscape. ConocoPhillips is planning to restart exploration (seismic testing) in the Warim block in the near future, a remote forest area mostly located in Boven Digoel regency, several hundred kilometres inland from Merauke. The Forum to Care for Papua’s Natural Resources drew attention to this latest threat in a recent press release, summarised in this article from Majalah Selangkah:

Forum to Care for Papua’s Natural Resources Opposes ConocoPhillips’ Papuan Operations


The Forum to Care for Papua’s Natural Resources has stated its clear opposition to ConocoPhillips commencing operations in West Papua.  In a press release issued in Yogyakarta, 31 August 2013 the forum explained various past, present and potential future impacts that arise when giant corporations move in and start operations anywhere in the land of Papua.

If ConocoPhillips moves in, they say, this will only aggravate symptoms of social breakdown and environmental damage, as such corporations are only interested in their own profits, and do not care about the environment and Papuan indigenous people.

As with other corporations in Papua, they claim that ConocoPhillips will only destroy the land which was used for extraction, destroy agricultural land, convert forest into an industrial area and reducing the land available for hunting and gathering peoples. In the long term, mining (including oil and gas exploitation) is a main contributor to turning land into wasteland, which is then almost impossible to restore.

According to the forum, mining in West Papua has caused land, water and air pollution such as dust, poisonous gases and noise. Coastal fish enclosures and coral reefs have been destroyed, floods and landslides have wiped out biodiversity. Acidic water flows into rivers and eventually to the sea, where it has destroyed coastal and marine ecosystems and resources. Mining causes various health problems, and local infrastructure such as roads are severely damaged. Mining also means new migrants move in to the area, either working for the company or starting their own business in the mining area.

They also say that mining creates symptoms of social distress such as prostitution, strong alcohol, gambling, and billiards. Land conflicts can occur, bringing with them a shift in socio-cultural values. Food sources such as forest gardens are polluted or damaged, meaning harvests fail. These are just some examples of the complex problems which the Papuan people in general suffer.
An Overview of ConocoPhillips

ConocoPhillips, according to data collected by the Forum to Care for Papua’s Natural Resources, is the third biggest US integrated energy company after Exxon and Shell based on market capitalisation and reserves. It operates in the oil and gas sector and is the USA’s second largest refiner, the fourth biggest globally.

ConocoPhillips has the fifth largest oil and gas reserves in the world. The company is known worldwide for its technological expertise in deep-sea exploration and production, reservoir management and exploitation, 3D seismic technology, high-grade petroleum coke upgrading and sulphur removal.

Operating in more than 40 countries, the company has around 38,300 employees worldwide and assets worth 164 billion US dollars. The company has four main activities around the world: Oil exploration and production; Refining, oil marketing, supply and transport; collecting processing and marketing natural gas; production and distribution of chemicals and plastics.

source: http://majalahselangkah.com/content/forum-peduli-sda-papua-tolak-conoco-philips-masuk-ke-papua

Since the report is somewhat short on details on ConocoPhillips’ actual plans in Papua, here’s a short article published by news website tempo.co in March with some more background information. In July the company reiterated its plans to carry out seismic testing in Boven Digoel and Pegunungan Bintang in 2014.
Govt Revises Conoco Phillips’ Contract in Papua

TEMPO.CO, Jakarta – The government will reimburse the standstill period of the exploration in Block Warim, Papua, to oil and gas company Conoco Phillips. The block, a sharing contract for which was signed in 1987, had not been worked on since 1997 because most of the area has been used as Lorentz National Park.

Head of public relations at the Upstream Oil and Gas Special Task Force (SKK Migas) Elan Biantoro said the Warim block has about 14,000 square kilometers left, some 30 percent of the block’s original size. Other than being used as a national park, some areas in the block were returned to the state because no reserves were found there.

“This block has actually been explored; the initial commitment has been fulfilled and wells have been drilled. After the contract revision is signed, seismic studies may be done this year or next year,” Elan said.

He added that the Warim Block is believed to have considerable amount of hydrocarbon potential. Other oil and gas contractors, he said, are developing areas near the block.

“Around (Block Warim) there are plenty of oil and gas blocks owned by Exxon Mobil,” he said.


Source: http://en.tempo.co/read/news/2013/03/25/056469265/Govt-Revises-Conoco-Phillips-Contract-in-Papua


JUBI, 22 June, 2011
It is still very difficult for the Mimika district administration to get information about the quantity of gold and copper produced by Freeport-Indonesia and how much is exported via Portsite, Amamapare.
Freeport's Grasberg mine - Earth's biggest hole in the ground

The head  of the mining, energy and minerals department of the Mimika administration, said:

‘We don’t know anything about the quantity of gold, copper and other minerals produced daily by Freeport and this is because  we do not have free access to the company to be able to control the level of production every day.’

He said that the administration did once charge two of its employees to oversee export activity in Amamapare, but after we had given them the task, the two men were unfortunately shifted other posts.’  [Could this have been a deliberate action.]

This is a big problem. Anyone charged with scrutinising exports and imports  would have to be a specialist. They would need to have a special certificate for controlling goods and services for both exports and imports..

All this has an impact on obtaining clarification about the quantity of minerals produced every year. How can this possibly be synchronised with the information received by the authorities in Jakarta? It’s all just a game because the people at the centre get data about gold and copper production which comes directly from the company, PTFI.

The department of mines in Jakarta only gets information from one side. ‘This doesn’t lead to any accuracy. Anyone with bad intentions can easily manipulate the data.  Although lots of stuff is exported, they report a very low figure.’

So the question is: who else but the company can know anything about the quantity of material it produces every year? Only the PTFI.

[COMMENT: This once again highlights the extraordinary powers that the US company has been given to keep a tight control over how much it exploits of Papua’s abundant natural resources, with the  Papuan people not only left in the dark but also left living in poverty while Freeport makes a fortune from its investments in West Papua. TAPOL]

Magai: ‘Papuan officials are destroying Papua.’

JUBI, 19 June 2011The chairman of Commission A of DPRP. Ruben Magai has warned that the destruction of Papuan resources  is being intensified by the activities of a number of senior officials in the Land of Papua. Some of these officials are ‘playing games’, shielded by a variety of problems which continue to  play havoc with the lives of the  Papuan people. There is no question of these people taking sides with the  weakest people in society. All they are interested in is furthering their own interests.’

‘It is a public secret,’ he said, ‘that Jakarta is continuing to manipulate things, causing the continued destruction of  Papua. There is no space for democracy, the  policies being pursued  have nothing whatsoever to do with promoting the welfare of the Papuan people here.’

Ruben said that Papuan bureaucrats should be fighting to promote the interests of the people, but this is simply not happening. ‘Papuan officials are also contributing to the destruction of Papua,’ he said.

The general view here in Papua is that OTSUS, the special autonomy law, has failed  The government should be opening itself up, making an evaluation of the situation and providing space for these discussions. ‘But nothing of the kind is happening which means that the issue will continue to be raised in demonstrations, in seminars, in media reports and other forums.’

The Papuan people have for many years been raising their voices about the failed implementation of OTSUS, calling for OTSUS to be returned to Jakarta. At the very least, there should be some response. Last Thursday, dozens of people in the Coalition of People United  for Justice (KRPBK) expressed these views.

The Papuan people’s aspirations are regarded by the government as matters of no importance. The DPRP went to Jakarta to raise these issues but to no avail. ‘As representatives of the people, we feel extremely unhappy with this situation. All the efforts we have been making have led nowhere. On one occasion, we submitted  a concept to Commission A of the Indonesian parliament, the DPR,  which was accepted at the time, but there was no follow-up at all. This was a great disappointment,’ he said.

The Land of Papua continues to be turned upside down, with unpopular measures, with acts of violence, with human rights violations which are never resolved, with the abuse of freedom of expression, with the introduction of laws which are unacceptable, as a result of which the rights of civil society are never upheld.

‘This is the reality of the situation in Papua today,’ said Magai.

Kampung inhabitants need more medical personnel

JUBI, 22 February 2011

Kampung inhabitants need more medical personnel

People living in Mosso kampung, district of Muaratami have urged the
Health Service to increase the number of medical personnel available to kampung dwellers because it is very inadequate at present.

‘We need help from the medical service because we are getting complaints every day from patients about the lack of medical facilities,’ said Charle Wetapoa, an official.

He said that the lack of personnel had been a problem for years, with
the result that people living in the kampung are finding it difficult to
get the medical assistance they need. He said that there were only two people working at the clinic in the kampung

He said that they have called on the Health Service in Jayapura to
prioritise medical personnel for Mosso this year , which would help
improve the conditions of the people in the kampung, especially with
regard to their health.

The Mosso kampung is part of the administrative district of Jayapura
Municipality but is located at a great distance from other kampungs in
the same district, meaning that it is very difficult for the people to
get the service they need. There are altogether 45 people living in the

[COMMENT: This is happening in a territory like Papua that is providing
revenues for the Indonesian state coffers from the hugely profitable
mining operations of Freeport copper-and-gold mine. TAPOL