Block East Natuna Lirik Perusahaan Rusia
Illustration. (Photo: Doc. Antara)

JAKARTA - Head of the Special Task Force for Upstream Oil and Gas Business Activities (SKK Migas) Dwi Soetjipto revealed that the oil and gas company from Russia, Zarubezhneft, was interested in entering the gas field management in the East Natuna Block.

Currently, Zarubezhneft has 50 percent of its participation rights in one of the offshore oil and gas projects which is also located in the Natuna Island area, Tuna Block.

"The Russian one may be almost the same, who is now almost involved in the Tuna Block," Dwi told the media in Jakarta, quoted on Tuesday, December 6.

Dwi admitted that the East Natuna block is indeed in demand by many investors, including BUMN from Malaysia, Petroliam Nasional Berhad (Petronas).

"Indeed, I think many interested in East Natuna from Malaysia are also interested," added Dwi.

Just so you know, based on the records of the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources (ESDM), the East Natuna Block contains an Initial Gas in Place (IGIP) volume or on-site gas volume of up to 222 trillion cubic feet (tcf) and reserves of 46 tcf.

Previously on a separate occasion, the Director General of Oil and Gas at the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, Tutuka Ariadji, revealed that PT Pertamina (Persero) plans to hand over the management of the East Natuna Block to the government. In fact, previously this state-owned oil and gas company was given a special assignment to develop the block.

The government plans to auction back the East Natuna Block after Pertamina's process of returning the block is complete.

"If we don't take it quickly now, forget it! Just leave it because in the future, 10 to 20 years it's already a renewable energy period," said Tutuka.

The East Natuna block was discovered in 1973 and has yet to be developed. The main obstacle for developing this block is the CO2 level which reaches 72 percent.

This block was originally managed by ExxonMobil and got its management rights in 1980. However, due to no progress, in 2007 the contract was terminated.

A year later, namely 2008, East Natuna was handed over its management to PT Pertamina. Furthermore, ExxonMobil, Total and Petronas, joined. Petronas' position was then replaced by PTT Exploration and Production (PTT EP) in 2012.

Unfortunately in 2017 this consortium disbanded on the grounds of not being economical and leaving PT Pertamina.

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