Tue, 19 Aug 2003

Pertamina to import fuel as it overhauls facility

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

State oil and gas firm Pertamina plans to buy fuel from the international spot market as well as carrying out a crude processing deal with Singapore to avoid disruption in fuel supplies at home when Pertamina's Balongan refinery undergoes a two-month maintenance program starting in September.

"Our duty is how to maintain the fuel supply at a safe level during the September-October period so that it won't disrupt economic and investment activities," Pertamina president Baihaki Hakim told reporters over the weekend.

Baihaki said the refinery's production level was quite significant as it supplied fuel for Jakarta and West Java. Any fuel disruption in those areas would have serious economic and social consequences.

"Thus, maintenance of the Balongan refinery is a sensitive issue compared to other refineries," Baihaki said.

During the maintenance process, Pertamina will buy crude oil and process it in Singapore. In addition, Pertamina will also buy fuel on the spot market.

Located in Indramayu regency, West Java, Balongan refinery produces between 100,000 and 125,000 barrels per day of fuel. It makes up 10 percent of Pertamina's total production. The firm produces some one million barrels per day from its seven refineries.

However, Pertamina's production only covers 80 percent of the country's total fuel consumption. The remaining 20 percent is bought from Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the spot market.

The latest data from the city administration shows that consumption of diesel fuel in Jakarta is 2.2 million kiloliters annually, followed by premium gasoline at 1.9 million kiloliters a year, and kerosene at 1.5 million kiloliters a year.

Sixty percent of the Balongan production goes to Jakarta which consists of premium gas, kerosene and diesel fuel.