Natuna not endangered by other finds

Nov 23, 1996 01:00 AM

Indonesia's Pertamina has brushed off reports that its giant Natuna gas project has been mothballed following a big gas find elsewhere in the archipelago, stressing that it is on track to commence production. Newspapers had said the Natuna project in the South China Sea has been put on ice following a gas find by Arco in Indonesia's Irian Jaya province. However, Natuna will continue to develop, with first deliveries in the year 2002. With a continuing cost-cutting programme in the Natuna project it will be possible to market the gas at competitive prices. The offshore Natuna project will now have 16 platforms instead of 18 planned originally to produce 2.4 bncfpd of gas. There will be 216 wells for production and 84 wells for reinjecting waste gas being drilled around the Natunas, a string of islands about 1,100 km (680 miles) north of Jakarta. Tender notifications in national newspapers have already begun. In April this year a notification was given to tender for the conceptual engineering contract, in October a tender for air transport was notified. Exxon has a 50 % stake in the Natuna project, Mobil 26 % and Pertamina 24 %.Pertamina and Exxon signed an agreement in 1994 to exploit the Natuna field, which contains an estimated 210 tcf of gas, of which 45 tcf are thought to be recoverable commercially. At the moment Natuna gas is ready to be marketed, because the reserves and the technology are known. Pertemina is offering a 30-year (supply) contract from Natuna. Beside seeking to pipe the gas, Pertemina is planning a LNG-plant. Talks to pipe the gas to Thailand from Natuna are still in progress. Pertamina had also offered the gas to South Korea and Japan.

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