Mon, 17 Apr 2000

Caltex to maintain current output level

JAKARTA (JP): PT Caltex Pacific Indonesia, state oil company Pertamina's major production sharing contractor, has ruled out any plans to raise its crude-oil output despite an increase in the country's crude-oil production quota.

Caltex senior executive Djati Susetya said in Pekanbaru on Saturday that the company's crude-oil production would be maintained at the current level of 740,000 barrel per day (bpd).

He said Caltex could not benefit from the rise in the country's oil-production quota because raising production would require the company to increase its investment.

"We will just continue our production activities at the Duri and Minas fields", he was quoted as saying by Antara news agency.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) agreed in a meeting in Vienna late last month to raise total output from 1.42 million bpd to 21.06 million beginning this month.

Indonesia is, under the agreement, required to increase its production to 1.28 million bpd from 1.18 million.

Meanwhile, PT Medco Energi International, another crude-oil producer, said on Saturday it would increase the crude oil output by 30 percent to 740,000 bpd this year from about 560,000 at present.

Medco's president, Jhon S. Karamoy, said at Palu, Central Sulawesi, that the company would optimize production activities at its oil fields in Indonesia and Myanmar in a bid to reach the production target.

He also said the company would begin exploration activities soon at its oil and gas fields at Senoro and Toili in Benggai, Central Sulawesi.

Karamoy said that exploration at the gas fields in Senoro, which have gas reserves of about 1.5 trillion cubic feet, would start soon.

"The fields are expected to start commercial production by 2002, and we hope the gas fields will be able to produce about 200 million cubic feet a year," he said.

He said that the 30-year contract, which was in the preparation process, would produce about 200 million cubic feet of natural gas per year from the 475 square-meter field exploration.

PT Inco, an Indonesian subsidiary of a Canadian nickel producer, is one of several potential buyers of the gas. Earlier reports state that the nickel producer would buy between 50 million cubic feet and 80 million cubic feet of gas a year from Medco. (07)