Chevron to launch Indonesian oil recovery project

Jun 14, 2007 02:00 AM

Chevron, the top oil producer in Indonesia, will launch an enhanced oil recovery project in the Minas field in a bid to boost production, an official at the country's energy watchdog said. The plan over the next decade is of particular interest to the market given the status of Minas crude as a regional benchmark, along with its potential to boost flagging oil output from Asia Pacific's only OPEC member.
"BP Migas has approved the Minas oil recovery trial project. We hope this project will produce good results to boost Indonesia's oil production," Achmad Luthfi, the deputy chief of watchdog BP Migas, told. He said the Minas field, the largest in Indonesia, still had big reserves.

Indonesia has struggled to maintain production and became a net crude oil importer for the first time last year, an energy ministry official had said, as OPEC's second-smallest member in terms of output has failed to tap new oilfields fast enough.
Nicole Hodgson, Chevron Asia's media adviser said BP Migas and the company had studied a variety of technologies and had agreed in principle to conduct limited scale field trials to test the performance of surfactant/polymer, the chemical being eyed for the enhanced oil recovery project.

"We hope to start chemical injection by early 2011. We expect results to be obtained by 2012," Hodgson told.
"By 2013 a decision is likely to be made on whether or not to expand the use of this technology. It is too early to make estimates on recovery or production rates," she said.

A second BP Migas official said oil reserves in the Minas field were estimated at 4 bn barrels.
"We need technology to recover that. If we can produce 10 % of that reserve, that is good for Indonesia," the official said adding that production from US major Chevron was currently running at around 420,000 bpd.

Indonesia's overall crude oil output edged up to 845,300 bpd in May from April, helped by the return of some wells after maintenance. Indonesia produced 838,900 bpd of crude in April. Thecountry's condensate output also rose slightly to 114,700 in May from 114,200 bpd in April.
State oil firm Pertamina aims to boost crude output to 180,000-190,000 bpd next year, up from around 155,000 bpd in 2007, before raising it further to between 255,000 and 300,000 bpd by 2010, focusing on optimising production in domestic fields, its chief executive had said.

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