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Production Unlikely to Meet Govt Target: Expert

As of March 21, Indonesia was only producing 917,000 barrels per day (bpd), making the 2011 production target of 970,000 bpd a bit beyond reach, upstream oil and gas regulator BPMigas revealed on Tuesday.

BPMigas spokesperson Gde Pradnyana said there was nothing peculiar with the current production trend because, in the first semester, almost all oil firms operating in the country usually produced below the target.

In the second semester, starting in July or August, their productions will generally exceed the target, he said in a telephone interview.

He blamed unplanned shutdowns, caused by poor weather and technical problems, as main contributors to the countrys failure to reach the oil production target.

He said that, since the beginning of the year, there had been 195 unplanned shutdown events across the country.

Those shutdowns caused the country to lose around 14,000 barrels of oil per day, said Gde, adding that the country also lost 14,000 bpd last year and 21,500 bpd in 2009 due to unplanned shutdowns.

The agencys data shows that, as of March 6, US-based Chevron was still the largest oil producer in Indonesia, producing 359,000 bpd, followed by state oil and gas firm PT Pertaminas 122,000 bpd, France-based Totals 89,000 bpd and US-based ConocoPhillips 51,000 bpd.

Gde said the agency would strengthen its supervision of production sharing contract (PSC) holders to prevent more shutdowns from happening over the course of the rest of the year.
He said that BPMigas would persuade companies to improve the maintenance of their production facilities and equipment.

An energy expert from the ReforMiner Institute, Pri Agung Rakhmanto, told The Jakarta Post that BPMigas could do nothing to prevent unplanned shutdowns, since almost all oil fields in the country, as well as their production equipment, were out of date.

The only way to crank up our oil production is by boosting exploration activities to find new oil fields, he said.

Seeing the current sluggish trend in exploration activities, Pri believed that Indonesias oil production would never reach the 970,000 bpd targeted by the government. He estimated that the production level would stay at between 900,000 and 950,000 bpd.

In at least the next two years, our oil production will decline or at least stay at the current level, he said.

According to BPMigas, in 2010, Indonesias oil production was only 954,000 bpd, or 4,000 bpd below the target.

This year, the government announced that the oil production would reach 970,000 bpd.
Pri deemed that the target set by the government was unrealistic considering that no new oil fields had been found recently.

This year, it would be a good achievement if our oil production can reach 945,000 bpd, he said.

Gde acknowledged that in the past decade, no discovery of major oil fields have been made in the country.

The last discovery of a major oil field was Cepu block in Central Java, that was currently operated by US-based ExxonMobil.

The block was discovered in 1998, while the development started in 2005. The block is estimated to have a maximum capacity of producing 185,000 barrels of oil per day, he said. 

The Jakarta Post

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