Industry Urgently Needs New Gas Well

Jumat, 22 Februari 2013 | 08:37

The government is demanded to search for other gas resources, following a gas shortage crisis which could blow the industrial sector in Medan if not handled quickly.The Special Unit of Upstream Oil and Gas (SKK Migas) has asked PT Pertamina EP to continue searching for other gas resources in North Sumatra to fulfill the needs for gas supplies, which is currently in critical condition.

SKK Migas’ Deputy of Operations Control Muliawan admitted the gas supplies from Glagah-Kambuna are decreasing but this is a natural thing. Currently, he continued, Pertamina is accelerating the exploration process in Benggala.

“Several months ago, Pertamina EP found a new structure in Pangkalan Susu which is Benggala Well. This is just one well. It’s expected to fulfill the gas needs for Medan if we can develop it further,” he said, Thursday (2/21). He added that the existing fields can no longer increase the production.

According to Pertamina EP’s VP of Exploitations Achmad Mursidi, Benggala Well can only produce around 3 MMscfd for temporary test. It’s targeted to be on stream in October 2013.

“If the permit from the local government and PT KAI can be accelerated, the on stream target can also be accelerated. Technically, it’s ready for Pertamina EP,” he said.

As planned, the production of 3 MMscfd will be retrieved by Perusahaan Gas Negara (PGN) and distributed to industries. “The reason is because PGN has already owned the pipeline infrastructure.”

Pertamina EP President Director Syamsu Alam said he can’t predict when Benggala Well will start its production. According to him, Pangkalan Susu (managed by Pertamina EP) can still distribute gas.

Director General of Oil and Gas at the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources Edy Hermantoro stated that PLN is no longer use gas but it’s still channeled to industries. “The gas supplies through PGN can survive until 2015, while waiting for the completion of Pertamina’s Arun regasification project,” he said.

Previously, Chief Coordinator of Industrial Gas for Indonesia Chamber of Commerce (Kadin) Acmad Widjaja said the gas supply in Medan industrial estate is critical.

Meanwhile, the gas distribution contract in North Sumatra between the government and PT Pertiwi Nusantara Resources as PGN partner contractor is supposed to end in 2014. However, because the gas supply managed by Salamander Energy North Sumatra, which supplies gas for Pertiwi Nusantara, will run out by March, the private company was forced to stop the gas supply to PGN.

“Pertiwi won the tender for gas supply in North Sumatra. The contract has been signed since 2009 for 5 years, but the gas supply had stopped before the contract ends,” said PT PGN General Manager for Area III, Mugiono, Thursday (2/21).

Pertamina Supply

Therefore, starting from next March PGN will be only supplied gas by PT Pertamina which is only capable of delivering around 7 MMscfd gas, while gas demand in North Sumatra is around 25 MMscfd. That is why he asked PT Pertamina to provide additional supply to cover the shortage at least until the regasification project is completed by building the pipe transmission from PT Arun towards Belawan.

"We expect a gas supply substitution to cover some lost gas . Thus, we will build the supporting infrastructure," he said.

In fact, the PGN and PT Pertamina partnership will be ended by June this year. Therefore, the company is processing the amendment of gas distribution contract extension before it expired.

Meanwhile, an economist and politician Faisal Basri questioned PT Pertiwi Nusantara Resources competence which became the gas supplier winning bidder, even though PGN built the infrastructure for gas delivery but had never won by the government.

"Why did the government have to buy gas from scalpers? In fact, PGN has the infrastructure but never won. Instead, the government won the company which doesn’t have gas source and infrastructure. As the result, when they run out of gas supply, they cannot meet the gas supply under the contract. (lt/aph)

by Dewi Andriani, Arsyad Paripurna, Riendy Astria, Aprianto Cahyo Nugroho