Dec 27, 2012

Indonesia - Pertamina finds new hydrocarbon reserves

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PT Pertamina EP, the upstream unit of state oil and gas company PT Pertamina, announced on Tuesday new hydrocarbon reserve findings in its operations in Sumatra that will boost the company’s future oil and gas output.

Pertamina EP’s spokesman Agus Amperianto said the discovery was made following exploration activities in its working areas in Binjai, North Sumatra, and Prabumulih, South Sumatra.

“The result at the end of the year increases the firm’s optimism in finding new crude oil and gas reserves in our operational areas, particularly in the Sumatra region,” he said.

However, Agus declined to reveal company’s estimates of the reserves, arguing that it was classified information tied to the country’s energy security.

Pertamina’s initial production test in the Benggala gas field (BGL-1) in Binjai rendered 13.2 million metric standard cubic feet per day (mmscfd) of natural gas and 857.5 barrels per day of condensate, according to the company’s data.

The exploration well drilled in the Benggala gas field in the North Sumatra basin was 3,150 metres deep. The drilling was aimed at reactivating exploration activities in Pertamina’s upstream operations in the areas of North Sumatra and Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam after seven years of inactivity.

The discovery is expected to spur more hydrocarbon exploration in the region.

“We are hoping for the Benggala field to enter the production phase in the first half of 2013 with an average daily production of around 10 to 15 mmscfd of gas, which is projected to supply the gas demand of industries in North Sumatra,” he said.

The peak production of the Benggala field is projected to reach up to 15 mmscfd and continue at that level for around 10 years before entering a period of decline, Agus said.

However, he said, the company would conduct more studies to refine estimates of when the Benggala field would hit peak production.

Aside from the field, Pertamina is also betting on the development of the Hibiscus Selatan oil field (HBS-1) in South Sumatra.

The field’s production trial has rendered 119.9 barrels of crude oil per day and 0.2 mmscfd of gas, according to the company’s data.

Agus said the Hibiscus Selatan oil field was also projected to enter production in the first semester of 2013 with an average output of around 100 to 125 barrels of crude oil per day as well as 0.2 to 0.5 mmscfd.

Pertamina EP expects peak production at the Hibiscus Selatan oil field to deliver more than 125 barrels of crude oil and more than 2 mmscfd for around 10 years before the block enters a period of declining production.

From January to early December this year, Pertamina EP conducted 2-D and 3-D seismic surveys to discover new hydrocarbon reserves on 3,645 kilometres and 2,285 square kilometres of its working areas.

The company has drilled as many as 22 exploration wells throughout 2012.

For 2013, Pertamina EP plans to drill 28 exploration wells as well as to conduct 2-D and 3-D seismic surveys on 817 kilometres and 1,488 square kilometres of its working areas.

However, despite the plan, problems related with land acquisitions remained the biggest challenge for Pertamina, according to Agus.

He said many of its planned exploration activities had been delayed due to disputes with local leaders over customary lands (tanah ulayat) belonging to local communities, and coal-mining areas.

This year, Pertamina EP expects average daily output to reach 127,000 barrels of crude oil per day — slightly below the government’s target of 134,000 barrels per day — and 1,050 mmscfd of gas, also lower than the targeted 1,070 mmscfd.

Pertamina EP is slated to receive capital worth US$3.1 billion next year, or around 46 per cent of the total $6.77 billion the Pertamina group plans to invest.

Amahl S. Azwar

The Jakarta Post

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