JAKARTA (JP): State oil and gas firm Pertamina will follow up on the recent preliminary finding by a state research agency of a large hydrocarbon reserve off the western shore of Nangroe Aceh Darussalam, an official says.
Chairman of the Agency for the Assessment and Application of Technology (BPPT), Said D. Jenie, said Pertamina would take part in the project after the company gained approval from the ministry of energy and mineral resources.
Such approval is necessary for Pertamina to be able to gauge the size of the potential reserve.
Said stated the agency would follow up on its preliminary findings by launching another series of surveys using its high-tech research vessel Barunajaya.
"To prove we are really serious about this, we plan to send another research ship to get three-dimensional data," he said, adding the agency would need between US$3 million and $5 million for the new survey.
BPPT and its German counterpart Bundesanstalt furGeowissenschaften und Rohstoffe recently said they found a massive store of underwater hydrocarbon, which may contain oil and gas, around Simeulue island in Aceh.
The agencies said the reserve might reach a minimum of 107 billion barrels and a maximum of 320 billion barrels of oil or gas.
By comparison, the proven reserve of Saudi Arabia is around 264 billion barrels, the largest in the world, while the Banyu Urip block in Cepu, Central Java, contains around 450 million barrels. (ika/****)