Oil Wells

In the southern part of the City of Jambi there are a number of oil pumps in operation. It’s interesting to see them up close and observe how they function.

Oil could bring prosperity to a region. It also has the potential to bring other problems as well. One notable problem experienced by families that live around the oil fields is the oil in the ground water. Many of the people in that area have oil in their water wells. With no city water source, they use their wells to bathe, clean, and cook with. Most of them are forced to purchase bottled water for drinking.

Below is a video we made of the oil pumps in operation.

The first Jambi oil began to be drilled in 1922, and pumping to the refinery in Palembang commenced in 1923. The best oil fields at that time were in Bajubang and Tempino. In the 1930’s, south of the capital, the Kenali Assam area was opened for drilling.

Many thought the oil fields would greatly enrich the Jambi area, but due to all oil being pumped to and refined in Palembang, the wealth bypassed the Jambi people. The workers in the oil fields were mostly Javanese, so again, those of Jambi descent lost out again. Historically, it has been known that non-Jambians have controlled the wealth of the region, and the government has predominantly been non-Jambian.