(EnergyAsia, September 30) — Indonesia’s House of Representatives (DPR) has appointed a committee to investigate a recent smuggling case involving 6,000 tons of crude oil from the Lawe-lawe oil terminal in East Kalimantan Province.


Announcing the appointment, the chief of the House’s Commission VII Agusman Effendi said it would try to identify those responsible for the crime.


The smugglers had pumped crude oil from the terminal into a floating oil tank through a marine oil pipeline before siphoning the oil into tankers.


“The committee will also analyse the cases of fuel misuse and distribution,” he told ANTARA news agency.


Mr Agusman added that the House commission had asked the energy and mineral resource minister to work closely with enforcement authorities such as the police, navy, customs service and the directorate general for sea transportation to solve the case.


The management of state energy company Pertamina should also investigate its employees who are believed to be behind the smuggling operations, he said.


“The commission has given one or two months to the Pertamina board of directors to provide us with a progress report on its investigations,” he said.


Police spokesman Inspector General Aryanto Boedihardjo said that 18 Pertamina employees have been arrested on suspicion of oil smuggling activities after the Navy had stopped a Korean vessel during a routine check on August 31. The vessel was carrying about 2,881 tons of crude oil allegedly stolen from a Pertamina Depot in East Kalimantan.


Mr Agusman said blamed the rise in fuel smuggling from out of Indonesia to the growing gap between subsidised domestic prices and international market prices.