Large gas find north of Australia Thursday, 14 March 2019

A large gas find in Indonesia, Australia's neighbour to the north, is one of the 10 largest found in the world in the last year, offering the potential for more jobs for Australian engineers.

The gas was discovered by Repsol, with partners Petronas and Moeco, and it is the biggest in Indonesia in almost 20 years. The KBD-2X well is in the Sakakemang block in South Sumatra and has provided a preliminary estimation of at least 2 TCF of recoverable resources. The block is one of six the company owns mineral rights to (five exploration and one production/development) in Indonesia.

Repsol is an international energy company, headquartered in Spain, and holds a 45% working interest as does Petronas, and Moeco with 10%. Both Repsol and Petronas, a Malaysian company, have offices in Australia. Repsol has been operating in this country since 2015 while Petronas launched its first motor oil in Australia only last year, and Moeco is a Japanese oil exploration company.

Repsol's exploration and production strategy is focused on the development of gas assets, which are considered a key fuel for the energy transition to a low-carbon global economy, it said. The company has made more than 50 hydrocarbon discoveries since 2007, with 10 representing the largest finds of their type worldwide in their respective years, and more than half of these are already in production. By 2017, it had produced 15 million barrels of oil mainly from its asset known as Corridor.

In December 2018, Italian multinational Eni, revealed it has successfully drilled and tested the Merakes East prospect in East Sepinggan block in offshore Kalimantan, Indonesia. Its well was drilled to a depth of 3400 m MD in 1592 m of water depth, encountering 15 m of gas bearing net sands in two distinct levels of Miocene Age. Test data showed in production the well could deliver 70 mmscfd of gas and 1000 bbld of associated condensates.

News of both discoveries comes less than a year after South-East Asia's Asean Post declared Indonesia's oil and gas sector was shrinking, "with its glory days long past". Indonesia production, according to its oil and gas regulator, is dominated by five large companies: ExxonMobil, Chevron Pacific Indonesia, Pertamina EP, Pertamina Hulu Mahakam, and China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC).