Another Lusi Update
From the perspective of this paper’s publication, my cross-country move was badly timed. Since my email access has been so sporadic over the past couple weeks, I missed chances to help edit the press release and do a couple of interviews.
The press seems to have done just fine without me (except that no reporters have found my blog – or at least, no reporters have found it interesting). The Boston Globe has a nice photo set. What’s weird, though, is watching the quotes from various officials at the company whose borehole we claim is responsible for the disaster.
In an article in the Financial Times, Lapindo acknowledges that its personnel made mistakes during drilling immediately before the eruptions – but of course, does not admit that those mistakes caused the eruption. Meanwhile, Reuters has a choice quote from one of their technical experts:
“Experts opinion, Davies and others, that concluded that the burst came from the drilling well is based on a study that used the wrong data and assumption,” Edy Sutriono, drilling expert at Lapindo, told a news conference.
“Wrong data”? That, my dear readers, is a mentita.
It’s also hilarious. While I don’t know which data Sutriono (or anyone else at Lapindo) thinks are wrong, our paper is based largely on a combination of public records, like the earthquake catalogs maintained by the NEIC, and data about the drilling that was kindly provided by… Lapindo.
Police in Indonesia are thinking about using our paper as evidence in a criminal prosecution. I think it would be nice if our work eventually ends up helping the victims of the mud volcano, but I’m not holding my breath.