OTC: Indonesia seeks paradigm shift in developing western deepwater assets

Indonesia is working to change the way it develops its oil and gas resources, according to Ir. I Gusti Nyoman Wiratmaja, Indonesia’s acting director general of oil and gas. “Our vision is to enact a paradigm shift in the way we develop our energy resources,” Wiratmaja said May 4 at an “Active Arena” panel discussion at the Offshore Technology Conference in Houston.

Historically, the country has used its oil and gas as a primary commodity, selling it off to raise capital. “Our goal within the next decade is to leverage these resources to provide real economic growth,” Wiratmaja said. In addition to sustainable development, the minister added that the country is focused on developing its deepwater resources in the east, which includes developing underexplored basins and putting infrastructure in place.

“Only 9% of all Jurassic discoveries from 1998-2008 were in the eastern portion of Indonesia,” Wiratmaja said. In total, Indonesia has an estimated 314 working areas for oil and gas exploration and only 80 of these are producing. In addition, Indonesia contains at least 22 basins that have seen no exploration.

The goal of the panel was to highlight specific areas that have an abundance of proved and potential reserves, but come with specific challenges that have lead the regions to be under explored. For Indonesia, Wiratmaja pointed out that its energy developments have typically “followed the people.” A majority of its producing fields and infrastructure lie in the west where the population is more concentrated. “Part of our vision is to transform this movement where people can follow energy developments.”

Wiratmaja noted, however, that developing Indonesia’s deepwater assets in the East will come at a cost. The country estimates it will need investments of as much as $89.7 billion to reach its goal of full development throughout Indonesia. Oil production peaked in 2000, and the country is seeking $57 billion to bring its oil infrastructure up to speed.

According to Wiratmaja, Indonesia has a 7.1%/year energy demand growth and its deepwater assets are key in meeting this demand.

Contact Tayvis Dunnahoe at tayvisd@ogjonline.com.

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