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Pertamina's Plan to Release Oil and Gas Block Shares is Hampered by Regulations



    PT Pertamina (Persero) 's plan to release a majority share ownership (participating interest / PI) in several oil and gas blocks that it manages has not been implemented due to regulatory constraints. Referring to the prevailing regulations, the company is not allowed to release more than 41% shares.


    Director of Strategic Planning and Development of PT Pertamina Hulu Energi (PHE) John H Simamora said that his party has categorized all oil and gas blocks that it manages into several clusters. One of these clusters consists of oil and gas blocks that have the potential to release the majority of their share ownership to another company.

"Some of this needs to be divested, but the current law does not regulate this. We are still in discussion with the government to divest this oil and gas block, so it is still a long way to go, ”he said.

    He explained that in the current regulations, Pertamina can only release PI ownership of a maximum of 41%. In fact, it does not always need to hold such large shares or the operatorship share in all the blocks it manages. Some of the oil and gas blocks to be divested are actually minus for the company. On the other hand, his party has other priorities in developing upstream assets.

"We want to focus on exploration and field optimization, including the EOR (enhanced oil recovery) study," said John.

    Currently, his party is still discussing the PI divestment regulation issue with the government. The number of oil and gas blocks whose shares are released also has the potential to change depending on the development of oil prices. If the price of oil improves in the future, the number of oil and gas blocks to be divested will be smaller.

"Regarding this regulation, we discussed with the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources and BUMN, and this can be resolved," he said.

    Previously, Pertamina had divided all of its oil and gas blocks into four clusters based on the number of reserves and the remaining oil and gas block production period. The first cluster includes oil and gas blocks that have a remaining oil and gas production period of more than 10 years. 

    The second cluster is the oil and gas block which can still be produced in the next 5-10 years. The third cluster is an oil and gas block that Pertamina can cooperate with for the medium scale.

    Meanwhile, the last cluster is an oil and gas block, which is actually more suitable to be managed by an oil and gas company smaller than Pertamina. This last cluster is planned to be released by the company. 

    Energy Saver from Trisakti University Pri Agung Rakhmanto assessed that the PI divestment by Pertamina was a normal corporate action for oil and gas companies. This step is usually taken to optimize the investment portfolio.

"In order to focus on perspective and provide a high economy," he said.

    For the national upstream oil and gas industry, Pertamina's strategy also opens up opportunities for other oil and gas companies with different standards to take over the management of these oil and gas blocks. Although, whether the divestment will be attractive or not still depends on the current market.

"It remains the market which will determine later, whether it is considered attractive by other actors or not," explained Pri Agung.

    Currently, Pertamina manages as many as 91 oil and gas assets at home and abroad through several of its subsidiaries. There are 56 oil and gas blocks in the country that are worked on by PT Pertamina Hulu Energi to manage 50 oil and gas blocks, PT Pertamina EP 1 oil and gas block, PT Pertamina EP Cepu (PEPC) 1 block, PT Pertamina EP Cepu (PEPC) ADK 1 oil and gas block, PT Pertamina Hulu Indonesia 3 oil and gas blocks.

    While abroad, as many as 35 assets are managed by and PT Pertamina Internasional EP. Referring to PHE data, this year, the company's oil production is targeted at 412 thousand barrels per day (BPD) and gas 2,710 million cubic feet per day (million standard cubic feet per day / MMscfd). As of August, the realization of oil production was recorded at 414 thousand barrels per day (BPD) or exceeded the target and gas was 2,670 MMscfd or 98.5% of the target.

Investor Daily, Page-10, Saturday, Nov 21, 2020
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