Gas potential as oil fuel substitute: Minister

Rabu, 20 Februari 2013 | 09:31

Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Jero Wacik said Indonesia could rely on its big gas reserves to make up for dwindling reserves of oil as a major export earner."Currently, we have gas in abundance to rely on. This year we produce gas equivalent to 1.4 million barrels of crude oil per day, Jero Wacik said here on Monday.

Indonesia, formerly a member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has become a net oil importer with production shrinking from year to year while consumption is growing rapidly over the past several years.

Jero Wacik said the gas production brings the country`s total production of oil and gas to more than 2 million barrels of oil equivalent per day.

Currently, the country`s crude oil production is less than 900,000 barrels per day.

The production dropped over the past two decades from as high as 1.6 million barrels per day.

Jero Wacik said technology has made gas a valuable commercial commodity, after in the past "we burnt is as waste."

He said currently the country exports 60 percent of its gas production mainly in the form of liquefied natural gas (LNG) with 40 percent for domestic consumption.

"This year we plan to increase the portion for domestic consumption to 45 percent to be used for industry, power plant and transport fuel and as fertilizer feedstock," he said.

Natural gas is used as the feedstock for urea fertilizer of which the country is a big producer.

Jero Wacik said the country`s crude oil consumption averaged 1.5 million barrels per day as against production of only up to 900,000 barrels per day.

Last year, the country`s exports of oil and gas were valued at US$36.9 billion including crude oil accounting for US$12.2 billion, oil products US$4.1 billion and gas US$20.5 billion.

Meanwhile, oil and gas imports were valued at US$42.5 billion including crude oil accounting for US$10.8 billion , oil products for US$28.6 billion , and gas for US$3 billion.