WoodMac to aid Pertamina name Natuna developers

Indonesia's state-owned PT Pertamina will appoint Wood Mackenzie Consultants Ltd. to advise on choosing partners to develop the giant Natuna D-Alpha gas field.

Eric Watkins
Senior Correspondent

LOS ANGELES, July 17 -- Indonesia's state-owned PT Pertamina will appoint Wood Mackenzie Consultants Ltd. to advise on choosing partners to develop the giant Natuna D-Alpha gas field.

"Wood Mackenzie has a good database about companies, so it can evaluate which companies have the potential to be a partner in Natuna,' said Pertamina's upstream director Karen Agustiawan.

The Indonesian government appointed Pertamina operator of the Natuna development after protracted discussions with ExxonMobil—former operator of the development, concluded unsuccessfully.

But Pertamina does not have the technical capacity for the development, which reportedly requires advanced technological means to extract a high level of CO2 from the gas.

The state firm also needs considerable financial backing for the development, which Pertamina director Ari Soemarno estimated at $30 billion overall. He also estimated costs of $13-15 billion to produce 1 bcf/day of gas from the block.

Karen said about 10 international oil companies have expressed in partnering with Pertamina in Natuna, but did not name them. Media reports over the past several months have identified several potential partners.

Royal Dutch Shell PLC and Petroliam Nasional Bhd. are said to have expressed interest in the block, along with Total SA, Marathon, PTT Thailand, and ExxonMobil.

Contact Eric Watkins at hpalus@yahoo.com

More in Exploration & Development