"Development of the Merakes field supports an increase in production, so that it can meet the domestic gas demands," Minister Tasrif noted in a statement here on Tuesday.
The Merakes gas project will come onstream in April 2021 and will deliver 368 million standard cubic feet per day (MMSCFD) of gas at peak production.
The Merakes gas project, implemented by the KKKS Eni East Sepinggan, is a deep sea gas field development project off the coast of Kutai Basin, with a water depth of approximately 1,500 meters.
The project will hold the record for the longest undersea tie-back to its main facility of over 40 kilometers.
Production at the Merakes Field will contribute to extending the operating life of the Bontang LNG plant. Gas from the Merakes and Jangkrik fields will also be distributed through gas pipelines to meet the domestic requirements of 117 MMSCFD from 2022 to 2025.
Minister Tasrif also noted that natural gas is one of the energy sources that has an important role in realizing energy security in the country.
Currently, the share of natural gas in the national energy mix reaches around 19 percent. In accordance with Government Regulation Number 79 of 2014 on the National Energy Policy, it is targeted to increase to 22 percent by 2025.
"Once again, I congratulate SKK Migas and ENI Indonesia along with PHE and Neptute Energy for the success in gas production at the Merakes field," he affirmed.
Head of SKK Migas Dwi Soetjipto remarked that Large-Scale Social Restrictions (PSBB) had put a stop to construction work of the Merakes project, thereby leading to a setback. However, he lauded ENI for overseeing 8.6 million working hours without any fatalities.
Impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have turned out to be deeper than initially expected. However, improvement in the global oil prices, which is faster than projected, even at around US$70 per barrel this week, is expected to bolster efforts to boost upstream oil and gas investments.
"Of course, challenges will always be there. Let us join hands to get through this difficult time together to achieve Indonesia's shared vision in 2030, specifically the production of one million barrels of oil and 12 BSCFD of gas," Soetjipto remarked. Related news: Oil and gas field development expected to become more encouraging
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