Indonesia's Pertamina boosts 2018 upstream investment by 21% on year, focuses on Mahakam

Jakarta (Platts)--26 Dec 2017 1006 pm EST/306 GMT

Indonesia's state-owned Pertamina plans to spend $3.324 billion on its upstream business in 2018, a 21.16% jump year on year, senior company officials said Friday.

One of the reasons for the boost in capital investment is Pertamina's move to take over the Mahakam block in East Kalimantan, Indonesia, from France's Total and Japan's Inpex, they explained.

"Mahakam's investment requires about $659 million, acquisition $590 million and geothermal projects $183.2 million," Pertamina's senior vice president, strategic planning and operation evaluation, Meidawati told S&P Global Platts.

In addition to Mahakam, capital expenditure for next year will also be for domestic projects such as the Jambaran gas field located within the Cepu block. Pertamina acquired a 41.4% stake in ExxonMobil Cepu Limited's Jambaran this year. This field along with Pertamina EP's Tiung Biru field make up the JTB project. Pertamina plans to spend $1.547 billion in 2018 to develop the JTB project, upstream director Syamsu Alam told Platts.

The fields are estimated to hold combined reserves of 2.5 Tcf. Pertamina holds a 91% stake in the project. It has a production capacity of 315 MMcf/d and is expected to be on stream in 2020, Alam has said.


Total and Inpex's Mahakam contract will expire this year, and Pertamina will take over the block. The company plans to produce 1.1 Bcf/d of gas from the Mahakam block in 2018, 14.19% lower year on year. Condensate production is expected to reach 48,000 b/d next year from 40,770 b/d this year.

Pertamina will carry out work on 57 development wells and 32 workover wells in the Mahakam block in 2018, Platts previously reported.

Pertamina's total production of crude and gas for 2018 is set at 930,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day on average, a 34.2% increase year on year, according to Meidawati. The company plans to produce 400,000 b/d of crude and condensate from all domestic and overseas operations in 2018, 19.7% higher year on year. For gas, it plans to produce 3.069 Bcf/d next year, 47.55% higher than 2017's target.

"The increasing production is mainly from Mahakam block," Meidawati said.

The company is also looking at acquiring more oil and gas blocks. It has set a target to produce 2.2 million boe/d in 2025, where 600,000 boe/d comes from its overseas assets, Platts previously reported.


Pertamina will focus on Iran for its acquisition plan next year, besides continuously evaluating potential blocks in some other countries, Alam said.

The company expects to be able to finally realize its planned acquisition of an operating interest in Iran's Mansouri oil field in April next year. The block is expected to produce about 250,000-300,000 b/d. It will be based on a service contract model, Alam said.

Pertamina will have 30% interest in the field, with another 20% to be held by an Iranian partner, and the remainder to be allocated for other potential partners, according to Alam.

Pertamina had officially submitted a proposal on two Iranian development fields -- namely Ab-Teymour and Mansouri -- to the National Iranian Oil Company earlier this year. Both fields have been expected to contain reserves of more than 5 million barrels.

Meanwhile, Pertamina and Algeria's state-owned oil and gas company Sonatrach signed on December 21 a new memorandum of understanding. Both companies agreed to open new investment opportunities for Pertamina in the upstream sector in Algeria, including development of existing and new assets whose potential production could go up to 20,000-30,000 b/d, with total reserves of more than 100 million barrels, Pertamina said in a statement late December 21.

This MOU is a revision of the one signed in 2016. After the inking of the MOU, Pertamina and Sonatrach will finalize the agreement and settle on commercial terms to propose a development plan to Algeria's authority, the statement said.

Pertamina had bought ConocoPhillips' stake in Algeria in 2013 for $1.75 billion. This acquisition allows Pertamina to assume 65% participating interest in Block 405a, which contains three main oil fields: Menzel Lejmat North known as MLN, Ourhoud, and EMK. Pertamina has 65% participating interest and operatorship in the MLN field, and 3.7% and 16.9% interest in the Ourhoud and EMK fields, respectively, Platts has reported.

Meanwhile, Pertamina has decided to cancel a planned acquisition of two blocks in Russia, even though there is always an opportunity to keep cooperating with Russia's Rosneft in upstream in other assets, Alam said.

In May 2016, Pertamina and Rosneft had reached agreement to build a 300,000 b/d refinery in East Java, and this was followed by the upstream deal. Pertamina had been considering to take a stake of about 10%-15% in two oil gas blocks in Russia, respectively. The company had targeted to get 35,000 b/d of production and 200 million barrels of reserves from those blocks.

But Russia's high taxes has made the acquisition economically unviable for Pertamina, Alam said.

--Anita Nugraha,

--Edited by Geetha Narayanasamy,

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