Ministerial Induction of Merakes Gas Field Development Project
Timely commencement of Merakes gas field development project as global oil prices show signs of recovery.
The Merakes gas field development project was officially inaugurated by the Minister for Energy and Mineral Resources recently. The inauguration ceremony took place at the Jangkrik Floating Production Unit (FPU) in East Kalimantan. Other dignitaries in attendance at the event were the Director-General of Oil and Gas and the head of SKK Migas.
The Merakes Project, with a value of USD1.3 billion, will safeguard Indonesia’s energy security and meet domestic gas demands. The Project’s production yield is timely as Indonesia has been striving to overcome the impact of the global pandemic. Global oil prices are indicative of an unexpected incline while upstream oil and gas investments appear optimistic. Onstream since April 2021, Merakes’ deep-water subsea wells can produce 85,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.
The Minister also lauded several companies on their successful involvement in the Project. Government-owned SKK Migas, ENI Indonesia, Pertamina Hulu Energi (PHE), and Neptune Energy have successfully produced gas from the Merakes field.
A Deep-water Natural Gas Mining Resource
The Merakes Project is located offshore at Kutei Basin, East Kalimantan, in the East Sepinggan Work Area. It is a deep-water gas field development managed by KKKS Eni East Sepinggan and involves drilling five subsea wells. Merakes field has the longest undersea tie-back. The subsea cable connects to the ENI-operated Jangkrik FPU, located 45 kilometers away from the Merakes field.
The tie-back facilitates a consolidation of gas flowing from the Jangkrik and Merakes fields, thereby optimizing gas production capacity. Following processing procedures, the gas is exported to the Onshore Receiving Facility (ORF) via Jangkrik export pipelines. The Merakes Project initially encountered setbacks due to the pandemic and Indonesia’s Large-Scale Social Restrictions (PSBB). However, ENI Indonesia nevertheless managed 8.6 million work hours without fatal incidents.
A Shared Vision 2030
Merakes gas field development project will extend the operational life cycle of the Bontang LNG liquefied natural gas) refinery. With an international reputation for reliability, the Bontang refinery supplies LNG for local and international markets. As an energy source, natural gas currently has a 19% share in Indonesia’s national energy mix. By 2025, this is forecast to increase to 22%, under the National Energy Policy, Government Regulation no 79 of 2014.
Merakes field also has a peak capacity to produce gas of 368 million standard cubic feet per day (MMSCFD). Therefore, along with the Jangkrik field, fulfillment of domestic gas requirements of 117 MMSCFD until 2025 is viable. Thus, the Project is on track to achieve Indonesia’s Vision 2030 by producing a million barrels of oil.
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