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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs   22 November 2010

Indonesia optimistic about gas production

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The government is confident that natural gas output will jump next year as two major blocks are scheduled to go on line.

"We have had agreements that stipulate that some companies will start producing gas next year. That will boost output in 2011," Elan Biantoro, a spokesman of upstream energy regulator BP Migas, said on Sunday.

Elan said the Tranche 4 gas field in West Java, which is operated by Pertamina Hulu Energi, a unit of the state energy company, would go on line, with an estimated 80.48 billion cubic feet of reserves. The other is Peciko Phase 7B well in Mahakam, Kalimantan, which is operated by Total E&P Indonesie, with reserves of 203.93 bcf.

"With the presence of this new gas blocks, I am sure we can exceed the government's initial target," he said, referring to the 2011 state budget goal of an average of 7,769 million standard cubic feet per day of gas.

The Energy Ministry said last week that 2010 gas production would beat forecasts, rising 20.7 percent to 9,365 mmscfd from the target of 7,758 mmscfd. Elan did not offer specific figures for next year's output, but said it would comfortably exceed 2010 production.

This year's output has been boosted by better-than-expected performance from the Tangguh block in Papua, operated by BP Indonesia, according to the Energy Ministry.

Indonesia counts on contractors including Conoco Phillips, Pertamina, ExxonMobil, Vico, Petrochina, Chevron, PHE ONWJ and Santos, for national production.

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