The Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources (ESDM) has not yet got winners for the auction of six oil and gas working areas (WK) opened in the second and third auction periods of 2023. These six blocks include Panai WK, Patin WK, Natuna D-Alpha WK, Akimeugah I WK, Akimeugah II WK, and Bobara WK. The blocks mentioned latter are still in the evaluation stage with interested companies.
“There are some interested parties, but after conducting internal evaluations, they may not meet their economic calculations, so they did not submit bidding documents,” Director of Oil and Gas Upstream Business Development at ESDM, Noor Arifin Muhammad, said on Wednesday, January 31, 2024.
Noor said further that the ministry has designated the oil and gas blocks with low interest as open areas. As for Bobara working area, it is still in the evaluation stage following a request for an extension of the auction period by interested companies.
“As for Akimeugah I and II working areas, there were no auction winners, and they will also become open areas,” he said. Additionally, the government is also opening a joint study scheme for several working areas that have not yet been sold.
Previously, the Upstream Oil and Gas Regulatory Task Force (SKK Migas) targeted upstream oil and gas investments in 2024 at US$17.7 billion, or an equivalent to Rp275.14 trillion. This investment target represents a 29 percent increase from the realization of upstream oil and gas investments throughout 2023, which amounted to US$13.7 billion or approximately Rp212.96 trillion.
“For 2024, we have set a much higher investment target of around US$17.7 billion, exceeding the long-term plan target of US$16 billion,” SKK Migas Head, Dwi Soetjipto, told a media conference in Jakarta on January 12, 2024.
Dwi said that massive investments over the past eight years have been able to reduce the decline in production rates in the majority of aging production fields. The decrease in oil lifting throughout 2023 could be contained at 1 percent, while gas production experienced a 2.2 percent increase. However, due to the suboptimal absorption of gas by buyers, gas lifting or transmission grew only by 1 percent.