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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs                    29  September 2011

Indonesian oil production takes a hit

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Following a fire that last week gutted the Lentera Bangsa floating storage and offloading vessel in southeastern Sumatra, Indonesia may not meet its oil production target for this year, a government official said.

Rudi Rubiandini, a deputy operations official at upstream oil and gas regulator BPMigas, said on Wednesday that the accident had caused oil production to fall to 890,000 barrels per day.

That means Indonesia might only be able to produce 915,000 bpd this year, below the government target of 945,000 bpd.

Rudi said a ship carrying crude oil from a block southeast of Sumatra was gutted by a fire on Friday, prompting the China National Offshore Oil Corporation to halt production. CNOOC, which operates the oil field, had rented the Lentera Bangsa from Jakarta-based Trada Maritime.

“That incident caused CNOOC to not produce at its maximum capacity of 16,000 bpd for one week,’’ Rudi said.

He said production was expected to resume next week after the firm repaired the damage.

“God willing, recovery is expected in a week because we will find a new ship to carry the oil,’’ he said.

Should that not happen, he said, Indonesia would be unable to meet its oil target this year.

Oil production has only reached 906,000 bpd in the past eight months, Rudi said, expressing confidence that the remaining months of the year would provide enough time to recoup losses.

“We still have some months to boost the oil production,’’ Rudi said. He said that oil production was forecast to reach 940,000 bpd in November.

Indonesia has failed to meet the oil production target set in the state budget for the past five years due to aging oil fields and lack of investment, and since 2008 it has been a net oil importer.



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It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

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