The company that owns the oil well that leaked into the Timor Sea for 10 weeks last year has refused to show the Federal Inquiry investigating the incident its own internal report into what happened.
In August last year a blowout at a well in the Montara oil field caused Australia’s third largest oil spill.
The well was owned by the Thai-based company, PTTEP Australasia.
Their chief operating officer Andy Jacob has been observing the federal inquiry into the incident over the last few weeks and late yesterday took the stand to give evidence.
He said he had been observing proceedings to ensure the inquiry was given accurate information about what happened and to help PTTEP learn from the accident.
But, the inquiry then heard PTTEP’s corporate lawyers had claimed legal professional privilege over the company’s internal report into the oil spill.
Counsel assisting the inquiry said PTTEP could make the report public and they were acting to protect themselves from legal action.
It was also revealed at the federal inquiry that PTTEP ignored construction recommendations from engineers in order to cut costs.
The inquiry heard an engineering company contracted to help build the well quit the project because of safety concerns.
Craig Duncan from PTTEP told the inquiry he disagreed with recommendations from the company, AWT, that had been subcontracted to help build the well.
AWT sent an email to PTTEP saying they were concerned about their recommendations being rejected with little technical justification other than cost and that this was increasing the well’s risk profile.
Mr Duncan told the inquiry he did not think the extra preparations being recommended were worth it.