Exploration Analysis

Indonesia has long played a significant role in attracting foreign exploration and production companies to the Far East. The country is generally regarded as having some of the most prolific hydrocarbon-producing basins in the Far East. Recent (gas) discoveries in both Eastern and Western Indonesia have undoubtedly ensured that Indonesia will continue to maintain its dominant role as one of the world’s leading LNG producers and exporters. The government has also reformed its petroleum legislation to encourage more aggressive exploration in frontier basins of Eastern Indonesia, and in deeper untested Mesozoic plays.

In the past 25 years, Indonesia has produced 16.5 billion barrels of oil and 33 TCF of gas. Production rates for 1995 were roughly 1.6 MMBO/D and 7.9 BCFG/D. There are more than 250 producing oil and gas fields in Indonesia, including two supergiant fields (600 - 1,000 MMBO), six giant fields (100 - 150 MMBO), and seven medium fields (50 - 100 MMBO). Almost 98 percent of the country’s oil output is derived from onshore/offshore fields in western Indonesia, where hydrocarbons are produced almost exclusively from Tertiary clastic and carbonate reservoirs, with minor production derived from pre-Tertiary sediments. Recent oil and gas discoveries in both the Tertiary and pre-Tertiary of eastern Indonesia, coupled with favorable fiscal terms, have served to stimulate industry interest in the more remote frontier basins of the country.

There are approximately 60 onshore and offshore Tertiary sedimentary basins and sub-basins identified in Indonesia, covering a total area of approximately 2,000,000 km2.

In western Indonesia there are 21 basins recognized. Eleven are oil and gas producing, four basins contain discoveries but are not yet producing, four basins have been drilled with no discovery to date, and two basins remain undrilled. Although most of the producing basins have undergone extensive drilling (and can be considered as approaching a mature stage of exploration), several giant discoveries have recently been made in these settings.

In eastern Indonesia, there are 39 basins recognized, with only three currently producing. Of the remaining basins, six have discoveries but are not producing, ten have been drilled with no discoveries yet, and 20 remain undrilled. Most of these basins can be considered as frontier exploration areas. Eastern Indonesia is also experiencing a renaissance, with the recent giant gas discovery made by Arco in the Bintuni basin (6+ TCF), and Kufpec’s discovery of oil (3400+ BOPD) in pre-Tertiary reservoirs of the North Seram (Bula) basin. The hydrocarbon prospectivity of eastern Indonesia includes both the Cenozoic (Tertiary) and Mesozoic sedimentary sections. Generally speaking, the basins are relatively small in size and mostly located in deep water.

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) estimates Indonesia’s proved oil reserves are 13.5 billion barrels, which at current production levels, provides a reserves life index of 22 years. An additional 10 billion barrels are estimated to remain as undiscovered. The USGS also estimates Indonesia’s proved gas reserves to be 85.7 TCF, which yields a reserves life of 29 years at current production levels. Indonesia’s undiscovered gas potential is pegged at 95 TCF. In 1996, Pertamina (state oil company) estimated their remaining proven and possible oil and gas reserves to be 9.1 billion barrels of oil and 123.58 TCF of gas respectively. A major difference between gas reserves calculated by Pertamina and the USGS results from Pertamina including the supergiant D-Alpha gas field (180 TCF gas reserves – 45 TCF sales gas; 75% CO2) in their total.

For more information contact:

Leslie Sears
Petrel Robertson Consulting Ltd.
500, 736- 8th Avenue S.W.
Calgary, Alberta
T2P 1H4

Phone: (403) 218-1618
Fax: (403) 262-9135

This summary, part of Petrel Robertson’s 1995 summary of exploration and development opportunities in 31 countries around the world, has not been updated. Some of the information, particularly relating to political and economic issues, is thus out of date. It is included, however, to demonstrate the breadth and depth of Petrel’s work in each of these nations.

Copyright © 2014 Petrel Robertson Consulting Ltd.