A panel of international petroleum geologists decided exploratory drilling at a nearby gas well triggered the eruption of a mud volcano in Indonesia.
The vote could provide major financial compensation to many of the almost 40,000 Indonesians displaced by the eruption, reports The Guardian.
The volcano, called Lusi, erupted nearly two years ago and has been spewing massive amounts of boiling mud ever since.
The cause of the eruption was debated at an international conference in Cape Town, South Africa, attended by 74 distinguished petroleum scientists.
Geologists representing the oil and gas company Lapindo Brantas claimed an earthquake two days before the eruption is to blame, but only three of the petroleum scientists voted for this explanation.
Numerous attempts to stop the flow of mud — including a creative attempt to plug the volcano’s mouth with concrete — have failed.
“Indonesia mud volcano caused by gas well drilling”
The Guardian, November 3, 2008