Jayanty Nada Shofa, Jakarta – Indonesia still has 68 unexplored oil and gas basins across the archipelago, and the resource-rich country wants to ramp up its exploration, according to Energy Minister Arifin Tasrif on Tuesday.
Government data shows that Indonesia is home to a total of 128 basins. The country's oil and gas production comes out of 20 basins. Indonesia has eight drilled basins, but they have yet to produce oil and gas. Nineteen basins show signs of hydrocarbon – a chemical compound commonly found in crude oil and natural gas.
"Thirteen basins are drilled, but dry [or no discovery of oil and gas]. This is the risk that companies face, namely in how they spend money to explore but find dry holes," Arifin said at a GECF-ERIA joint workshop on the natural gas market in Jakarta on Tuesday.
"We have 68 basins still undrilled. We would have to conduct studies, such as seismic surveys, to make sure that there is a potential for resources," the minister said.
Indonesia's proven reserves totaled 42.93 trillion cubic feet (TCF). The proven reserves also had 2.36 billion barrels of oil (BBO), the ministry reported.
"To boost exploration, we have prepared policies that enable more attractive contract conditions, as well as regulations to ensure the stability of doing business in our country," Arifin said.
In 2022, Indonesia distributed 3,686 billion British thermal units per day (BBTUD) of natural gas across the country. About 1,759 BBTUD – or about 32 percent of the produced natural gas – went to exports.
This year, the Southeast Asian country plans to distribute 3,881 BBTUD at home. Indonesia aims to increase its natural gas export to 1,912 BBTUD in 2023.
Today, Indonesia primarily uses its natural gas for the industry sector and power generation. The industry sector represents about 1,611 BBTUD or about 29.45 percent. Followed by liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports at 1,154 BBTUD, and pipeline gas exports which amounted to 606 BBTUD. Data shows Indonesia has three LNG plants.
"Previously, we have switched from kerosene to liquefied petroleum gas or LPG [in households], and since then, the demand for LPG is increasing. This placed a huge burden on our [state] budget. That is why we are working on a household gas infrastructure. [This infrastructure] uses natural gas to decrease LPG usage," Arifin said.
"We already have a million connections installed, but I think we can need another couple million," Arifin said.
According to the government's natural gas downstream plan, Indonesia plans to construct a fertilizer factory in Fakfak and Tanimbar regencies of the eastern part of Indonesia.