OIL AND GAS-LOMBOK. PT Pertamina Hulu Energi is set to actively conduct deepwater oil and gas exploration (deep water) in search of large oil and gas sources (big fish).
The Director of Exploration at PT Pertamina Hulu Energi (PHE), Muharram Jaya Panguriseng, stated that large oil and gas potentials happen to be located at depths of 1,000 meters or more, falling into the deepwater category.
"So if we want to find big fish (major discoveries) in the future, we must be prepared to conduct deepwater operations. Pertamina has certainly prepared itself to carry out these deep-sea operations," he said at the Pertamina Media Gathering 2024 in Mandalika, on Tuesday (6/2).
Muharram acknowledged that deep-sea exploration investment is more expensive than regular offshore exploration because it requires the use of Semi-Submersible Drilling Rigs or what can also be referred to as semi-submerged drilling equipment.
Therefore, the investment made by Pertamina Hulu Energi will increase in the coming years to find large oil and gas reserves in deep waters.
Muharram stated that Pertamina's board of directors is encouraged by the commissioners to allocate more than 20% of its total investment for exploration.
As an illustration, citing his presentation material throughout 2023, PHE realized an exploration investment of US$ 320 million or grew 23% year on year (YoY) compared to 2022 worth US$ 260 million. The investment for exploration alone is only 8% of PHE's total capital expenditure (capex).
Shortly, one of the deep-sea oil and gas blocks that Pertamina will develop is the East Natuna Working Area (WK). The East Natuna block holds a potential of trillion cubic feet (Tcf) with the recoverable gas potential of 46 Tcf.
Muharram hopes that if there are no obstacles, his party will start drilling in East Natuna in 2026.
In addition, PHE will also conduct deep-sea exploration in several other areas, namely in Kutai West Ganal and Peri Mahakam and NE Java Basin (WK Bunga).
Muharram said, his party will also actively conduct deep-sea exploration in Eastern Indonesia, namely in Seram, Teluk Bone, and Aru.
"We conduct quite intensive exploration. Of course, it will be evaluated first and then ranked which one is the most emerging among them, then we will propose it to the government," he explained.
He revealed that shortly there is one Oil and Gas Working Area in Eastern Indonesia that has been targeted and has the potential to be a big fish.