PTT Exploration & Production Australasia is facing a class action lawsuit seeking over $150 million for a 2009 oil spill in offshore Australia.

According to Bloomberg, 13,000 Indonesian seaweed farmers filed a lawsuit Wednesday at the Federal Court in Sydney for alleged damage to their livelihoods caused by the spill.

PTT Exploration & Production Australasia is a wholly owned subsidiary of Thailand’s PTT Exploration & Production.

The lawsuit is seeking about $152 million in damages, Maurice Blackburn Lawyers told Bloomberg.

The spill occurred in offshore Australia in 2009 after PTTEP Australasia’s Montara drilling rig suffered an explosion and blowout.

The spill released an estimated 30,000 barrels of oil into the Timor Sea over the course of about two and half months and is the largest spill in Australian history, according to Reuters.

PTTEP Australasia said in a statement on Wednesday that studies show there was “no lasting impact” to the ecosystems closest to Indonesian waters.

“PTTEP Australasia has always accepted responsibility for the 2009 Montara incident…. Satellite imagery, aerial survey images and trajectory modelling concluded that the majority of oil (98 percent) remained in Australian waters and that no oil reached the Australian or Indonesian coastlines,” the company added.

The company added that it is “confident” the results of the independent studies “would stand up to the highest scrutiny” and show that it’s “highly improbable that the seas and coastline of Nusa Tenggara Timor would have been impacted.”

In 2012, PTTEP Australasia was fined about $387,000 for four charges brought by the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority related to the spill.


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