Wed, 03 Dec 2003

Natuna gas leak still under repair

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Bad weather has been blamed for the slow pace of reparation work on the 650-kilometer undersea pipeline from West Natuna island to Singapore, which was shut down due to a leak earlier this month.

Indonesia's oil and gas regulator BP Migas expects another week before full restoration of gas supply is restored.

"We have not finalized the repair work. Bad weather got in the way. However, we hope to resume full supply in a week," said BP Migas chairman Rachmat Sudibjo.

The leak has caused financial losses to Star Energy and Premier Oil, two West Natuna offshore gas producers that stopped supplying gas because the south valve of a subsea tie-in was shut down for the repair work. The gas supply from ConocoPhillips was not disrupted.

"We have incurred around US$250,000 in delayed revenue and a small amount of lost revenue every day since the detection of the leak," said Supramu Santosa, president of Star Energy.

He added that Star Energy supplies 20 percent of the 350 billion btu (British thermal units) per day supplied by the three companies. "We have to keep a bit of gas flowing to maintain the pressure within the pipe," Supramu told The Jakarta Post.

In a previous report, deputy chairman Trijana Kartoatmodjo indicated that it would be up and running at full capacity would by Dec. 2. He added on Tuesday that the repairmen were able to dive and work on the leak.