The Jakarta Post
Indonesia's crude oil production was 830,900 barrels per day ( bpd ) in the first quarter of 2013, eight percent lower than the target in the state budget, an official has said.
Upstream oil and gas regulatory special task force SKKMigas operations deputy Muliawan said in a recent interview that oil output as of March was below the 2013 target of 900,000 bpd.
'The result in the first quarter of the year is only 92 percent of the target. This is mainly due to a declining rate of oil production of around 3 to 5 percent,' Muliawan said in Jakarta.
Despite missing the target, according to Muliawan, average daily crude oil production in the first quarter was within SKKMigas estimate of 830,000 to 850,000 bpd.
As previously reported by The Jakarta Post, SKKMigas proposed that the government lower its oil output target of 900,000 bpd to around 840,000 bpd for 2103, as the regulator is aiming for zero percent decline in 2013.
Indonesia produced around 860,000 bpd of oil in 2012, about 8 percent less than the original target of 930,000 ( bpd ) as specified in the 2012 state budget, despite drilling 840 development wells and working 740 existing wells
The nation has made no significant progress in finding new oil reserves since it quit from OPEC in 2008, as production continues to decline amid maturing oil fields.
Only 80 new oil and gas wells were discovered last year, just 32 percent of the annual target of 250 wells, with only 51 turning out to be promising, according to SKKMigas.
The government and the lawmakers, however, have yet to formally discuss revising the 2013 State Budget, as proposed by outgoing Finance Minister Agus Martowardojo.
Muliawan said that SKKMigas still wanted to reach its average daily production goal by the end of this year, adding that maintaining output at around 840,000 bpd was crucial, as the government previously announced plans for production to top 1 million bpd by the end of 2014.
'ExxonMobil's Cepu block in East Java, which is projected to generate an additional 165,000 bpd for Indonesia by the end of 2014, will cover the rest. But to reach that, we need to maintain this year's output level,' Muliawan said.
US giant Chevron's subsidiary in Indonesia, Chevron Pacific Indonesia, remains the largest oil producer in the nation as of March, producing 325,053 bpd of oil, although that figure was also below the state budget target of 335,091 bpd and the regulator's target of 326,004 bpd.
Meanwhile, state-owned Pertamina EP, the upstream subsidiary of Pertamina, said it produced 120,626 bpd of crude oil in the first quarter of this year, lower than the 132,000 bpd target set by the state budget and SKKMigas.
Total E&P Indonesie, the subsidiary of French giant Total SA, said it produced 68,000 bpd of crude oil in the first three months, meeting SKKMigas' target while falling short of the 70,500 bpd target as specified in the state budget.
On the decline, Pri Agung Rakhmanto, the executive director of the Jakarta-based energy think tank ReforMiner Institute, said that the government has always set targets that have outstripped local production capability in recent years.
'It is not very surprising that Indonesia always fails to meet its oil output target since the target itself is unrealistic given our aging oil fields with no discovery of new, big and profitable reserves, except for Cepu,' he said.