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Termination Block Managers Can Propose Changes in the Form of Oil and Gas Contracts

    Oil and gas companies that hold the management of terminated oil and gas blocks are allowed to propose changes in the form of production sharing contracts (PSC) from gross profit sharing (gross split) to cost recovery or vice versa.

    This refers to the Regulation of the Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources (EMR/ESDM) Number 23 of 2021 concerning the management of oil and gas blocks whose cooperation contracts will expire. With the enactment of this regulation, the Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Regulation No. 23/2018 and the Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Regulation No. 3/2019 are revoked and declared invalid.

    In Article 34 of Ministerial Regulation number 23 of 2021, it is stated that contractors and PT Pertamina (Persero) can apply for proposals for the basic forms and provisions of PSC from gross split to cost recovery or from cost recovery to gross split. This application can be made after the contractor and Pertamina have completed a five-year definite work commitment (KKP).

Blogger Agus Purnomo in SKK Migas

    The application is submitted to the Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources through the Special Task Force for Oil and Gas Business Activities (SKK Migas). Furthermore, if there is a change in the form and basic provisions of the PSC, the costs incurred for the implementation of the KKP cannot be submitted as a refund of operating costs.

    The opportunity to change the PSC scheme is considered positive by various parties, including PT Pertamina Hulu Energi (PHE) as the Upstream Subholding of PT Pertamina (Persero). Pertamina Hulu Energi Corporate Secretary Whisnu Bahriansyah said the option to choose the gross split or cost recovery oil and gas contract was previously only given for new oil and gas block contracts. This provision is through the Regulation of the Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources number 12 of 2020.

    But now, the same option is also owned by the terminated oil and gas block manager who has signed a contract. "Article 34 answers the industry's encouragement for the flexibility of the existing cooperation contract scheme options," he said.

    Secretary-General of the Indonesian Association of Petroleum Engineers (IATMI) Hadi Ismoyo agrees that this flexibility in choosing the form of PSC has a positive impact on the national oil and gas investment climate. 

    The reason is, so far not all investors are compatible with the gross split PSC. He said that the implementation of the gross split contract had an impact on the cash flow of oil and gas companies. This is because cost recovery PSCs are guaranteed a faster return on investment than gross split PSCs.

"So that investors are more comfortable, and because investors feel comfortable, it can also be returned in the form of exploration activities in the area, so that in the long term there is hope for sustainable production," he said.

    The Executive Director of the Reforminer Institute, Komaidi Notonegoro, also said the same thing. The no longer mandated gross split scheme oil and gas contracts for terminated oil and gas blocks is a positive step. His party from the beginning has also suggested that KKKS be given the freedom to have the most suitable oil and gas contracts for the oil and gas blocks they manage.

"Because there are types [of oil and gas blocks] that are suitable for cost recovery and some are suitable for gross split, so they cannot be mandated for certain types," he explained.

    Regarding the implementation of the Ministerial Regulation, the Head of the Program and Communication Division of SKK Migas Susana Kurniasih said, the PSC that first regulated the KKP matter was for the Jambi Merang Block which became effective in 2019. With the implementation period of the KKP for five years, it will be completed in 2024.

“SKK Migas through functions that have main tasks, functions, and competencies will monitor the implementation of the KKP by KKKS. In the event that after the completion of the KKP, the contractor intends to apply for a change in terms and conditions, then the policy to decide on the application is entire with the Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources,” She said.

    She added that SKK Migas had submitted a recommendation on an application from the Brantas Block contractor who submitted a contract change from gross split to cost recovery before the enactment of ESDM Ministerial Regulation number 23 of 2021.

"However, the application in question was not approved by the Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources," said Susana.

    Previously, termination of oil and gas blocks was mandated using a gross split contract. To date, referring to data from the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, there are 23 terminated oil and gas blocks that use gross split contracts, namely the Offshore North West Java (ONWJ), North Sumatra Offshore, Ogan Kome ring, South East Sumatra, Tuban, Sanga-Sanga, East Kalimantan. and Attaka, Jambi Merang, Raja/Pendopo, Bula, Seram-Non Bula, Malacca Straits, Brantas, Salawati, Bird's Head, Rokan, Tarakan, Coastal Plains and Pekanbaru (CPP), Tungkal, Sengkang, Rimau, Corridor, and Pangkah.

Investor Daily, Page-10, Monday, Aug 23, 2021

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