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INDONESIA - Central Sumatra - PT Caltex Pacific Indonesia (CPI).

A local unit of Caltex, CPI operates the main oil province under the jungles of Central Sumatra. Caltex, created as a 50-50 Chevron-Texaco company operating in various parts of the world with emphasis on Asia, is now fully owned by Chevron which has taken over Texaco. Indonesia is its main oil production zone.

In 1996, Caltex re-organised its Asia-Pacific operations after it withdrew from the Japanese market. In March 1997, it adopted a new strategy to improve operations, reduce costs and raise its profitability. In its global system, the refining, terminal and trading units no longer offer the group preferential prices; they invoice affiliates with the best price possible. The changes have also affected the Indonesian unit, CPI.

CPI's area is within the Riau Province, where its production now averages about 660,000 b/d, down from 750,000 b/d in early 1999, and still accounts for more than half of Indonesia's total oil output. Its main PSC has been renewed until 2021. In late 1996, CPI got better tax terms from the state, whereby it was allowed to charge interest on loans associated with its oil producing fields and EOR system as an operating cost. As a result, CPI decided to boost its production in 1997 to 785,000 b/d, from 760,000 b/d in 1996, and to raise spending that year to $400m. But production in 1998 and 1999 fell below that target. It fell further in 2000 as its E&P spending was reduced.

CPI is losing the onshore Coastal Plains Pekanbaru (CPP) block, which is producing 60,000 b/d (down from 77,800 b/d in early 1999). The 25-year lease for CPP expires in August 2001. In early 2001 the Jakarta government decided to award Pertamina a 90% stake in this and give the Riau administration 10%. The latter was asking for 70% and the operatorship. But some officials in Jakarta suggest there may still be a possibility of CPI being invited as a partner. CPP's EOR system needs upgrading.

CPI's first major oilfield, Duri, was discovered in 1941 and was put into production in 1958. Its bigger giant, Minas, was discovered in 1944 and came on stream in the 1950s as well. More than 100 smaller oilfields have been discovered in this area and put into production. At their peak in 1973, these fields' production averaged nearly 1m b/d. CPI has also found small gas fields, from which the output serves its production system and some EOR units in the oilfields. Most of the hydrocarbons in CPI's area are reservoired in deltaic sandstones contained in anticlinal structures.

Minas, the largest field in Asia with oil in place exceeding 4 bn barrels, was discovered at a depth of 2,600 feet. Its export crude oil, known as Minas or Sumatran Light, is 35[ordinal indicator, masculine] API with 0.1% sulphur, suitable for direct burning by power plants in Japan and in other markets. The crude is exported from the Dumai terminal together with the other CPI crudes. Minas and nearby fields produce less than 400,000 b/d (down from 450,000 b/d in early 1999). To sustain this CPI needs further EOR installations because the main field is losing pressure. Minas oil is waxy in nature. Its recovery is difficult. CPI has invested on EOR, including a $400m steam flooding system installed in 1995 serving the field's 13 zones.

Duri, near Minas, is a shallower oil accumulation discovered at a depth of 770 feet. It produces a highly viscous oil, 21.2[ordinal indicator, masculine] API, which cannot be pumped by conventional means. Resting in fine sand, it is like honey taken out of the refrigerator and will not pour easily until it warms up. Thus, the field is the site of the world's most expensive steam flood project on which CPI has spent heavily. Total investment on it may exceed $3 bn.

The flood project, with high-pressure steam pumped into the field's wells, covers 6,600 hectares (16,309 acres). It involves 400 steam generators and 4,445 new wells (in addition to the 725 old wells) - 1,270 wells for injecting the steam and 3,175 for extracting the oil - plus 2,000 miles of pipelines connecting the wells and processing plants. The field is divided into hexagonal patterns with one steam-injection well placed inside a ring of production wells. The system floods the wells continuously with steam to make the oil flow to the surrounding wells. CPI had experimented with gas injection and various other types of EOR, including water injection, before starting the steam flood system in 1984. By then, Duri's unassisted production had fallen below 30,000 b/d compared to 65,000 b/d in 1965.

High-pressure steam is generated by electricity from natural gas. The field's total capacity, including production by primary means, rose to almost 325,000 b/d - a peak reached in late 1994 - but now the field and other structures in the area are producing about 265,000 b/d, compared to 300,000 b/d in early 1999. This includes oil produced from a nearby offshore field (see below).

The production cost at Duri is averaging about $8/b, down 50 cents/b from early 1995, thanks to the use of gas for the EOR system. The cost of producing from the other CPI fields is averaging about $3-5/b.

CPI buys the gas from a consortium led by a Gulf Canada unit which operates the gas-rich Corridor Block in South Sumatra. The gas comes by a 300 MCF/day, 544 km pipeline from Grissik on stream since late 1998. The gas has replaced 50,000 b/d of crude oil which used to be burned for Duri's EOR system. The gas volume is to be raised to 390 MCF/day in 2002 and to 480 MCF/d from mid-2003, under a 20-year agreement signed in late 2000, with Gulf getting paid in Duri crude. Increased gas deliveries will help CPI boost the recovery rate at Duri, whose full potential has been put at 6.5 bn barrels. It has been said that, to tap this reserve until the field is abandoned later on in this century, total investment would probably reach $40 bn.

CPI operates the nearby offshore Rokan Block, under a separate PSC, where a small oilfield was discovered in early 1996. The first well, 35 km north-west of Minas, reached 5,010 feet (1,503 metres) and tested 702 b/d of oil. The second well, closer to Duri, reached 5,159 feet and measured 496 b/d, with Pertamina saying on Feb. 27, 1996: "This well is a significant stratigraphic test discovery which could open up new exploratory potential along the western flank of Duri field". Oil produced from this block is part of the Duri stream.

After August 2001, assuming it will no longer have anything to do with the CPP venture, CPI will be operating five blocks in Riau province: the onshore Siak and MFL tracts, and the offshore Nias, Rokan and Sibolgan blocks. Nias is off West Sumatra and is still being explored. Sibolgan is off North-West Sumatra just north of Nias. Both Sibolgan and Nias are gas-prone areas. After discovery and development, the gas from these blocks would be supplied to the Duri EOR system. The PSC for Sibolgan was signed in mid-1996 and CPI began seismic work there a few months later. In 1991-95, CPI drilled 23 wells and made ten oil discoveries.

CPI's vast area of operation lies in remote rain forests and swamps. Apart from living quarters for over 6,000 employees and more than 15,000 contractors, the company provides hospitals, mosques, schools and other social infrastructure. Its camps at Duri and Rumbai are small towns, each with populations of more than 10,000. Its power generating system is the second largest in Indonesia.

An engineering unit is involved in building roads over hundreds of kilometres of swampy ground and has the largest fleet of Mack dump trucks in the world. Caltex Petroleum, a sister company with refining and marketing operations in Africa and Asia, provides CPI with support services.

Santos and Petroz, independent Australian companies, have the gas/condensate-rich PSC blocks of Bentu and Korinci-Baru south-east of Riau's capital Pekanbaru in central Sumatra, which are adjacent. Their three fields, Bentu, Segat and Seng, are to be developed in a fast-track project. Their gas will be supplied to Caltex (CPI) for the latter's steamflood project at the Minas oilfield (see OMT) on which work began in early 2001.

Santos, the operator, has been negotiating a long-term gas supplied deal with CPI. The three fields, rich in very dry gas, are 45 km south-east of Minas. The existing Duri-bound pipeline of state-owned gas transmission company, Perusahaan Gas Negara (PGN), crosses the two blocks. Santos says that development would begin immediately as a sales deal with CPI has been signed, with early production to start before end-2001. Santos will drill a few more wells and then install a water separation plant.

Santos in 1998 took over the Bentu block from Apache Corp. of US which confirmed the Bentu discovery in 1993. The US firm discovered Seng in late September 1994, with the Seng-1 well drilled to a depth of 1,200 feet encountering multiple pay zones. It tested 17 MCF/d of gas and 371 b/d of condensate. The deeper Tualang formation flowed at 7.9 MCF/d of gas and 170 b/d of condensate through a one-inch choke with 671 psi of flow tubing pressure. The more shallow formation, Binio, flowed at 9.1 MCF/d gas and 201 b/d condensate through a one-inch choke with 483 psi pressure. This was the third well drilled in the area since 1991. Santos found Segat in 1999 and in 1999 it had another gas discovery in the Segat-3 appraisal well, which confirmed an extension of the field and the deliverability of previously untested sands. Tests of the stacked Binio reservoirs from the Segat-3 well achieved an accumulated flow rate of 40.26 MCF/d of gas. This boosted the company's estimate of gross gas-in-place reserves for the three fields to 300 BCF.
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Publication:APS Review Oil Market Trends
Date:Mar 5, 2001
Previous Article:INDONESIA - The Main Oil/Gas Fields & Operators.
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