Tiaka oil block temporarily stops production on low price

Palu, Central Sulawesi (ANTARA News) - JOB Pertamina Medco E&B Tomori Sulawesi has decided to temporarily stop producing oil from the Tiaka block in the regency of Morowali Utara, Central Sulawesi, as a result of low oil price in the world market.

Field Manager of JOB Pertamina Medco E&B Tomori Sulawesi, Susanto, said here on Wednesday the company will resume operation of the oil field if the oil price has exceeded US$60 per barrel.

"If the price below US$60 per barrel the company will suffer operating losses," Susanto said.

Susanto and the representative of the SKK Migas for Kalimantan-Sulawesi reported to the Central Sulawesi Governor Longki Djanggola about the decision to stop operation of the oil field .

Many have questioned the reason for the stoppage of the activities at the oil field over the past month.

Gas drilling has also been stopped at Dongi Senoro in Luwuk Banggai.

Susanto said he hoped the oil price would rise to at least US$60 per barrel that the company would resume operation in that area.

He said the island of Tiaka still has an oil reserve of nine million cubic meters.

The Senoro liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant also has to stop operation on low price, he said.

He said the Sinoro gas field is the sixth largest gas producer in the country.

The Sinoro gas field could continue operation with production 25 percent of its capacity to feed power plants of the state electricity company PLN.

Governor Longki Djanggola hopes that the LNG plant would not stop operation too long.

He questioned the commitment of PLN to build a power plant that would use gas from Senoro.

"So far PLN has done nothing to carry out the plan to build the power plant," the governor said. (*)