The Jakarta Post
State-owned oil and gas giant Pertamina has signed a cooperation agreement with its Algerian counterpart to support its efforts to increase production from overseas oil and gas fields.
The company signed an agreement on upstream and downstream activities with Sonatrach, an oil and gas firm owned by the government of oil-rich Algeria, which is currently listed as the second-largest contributor to Pertamina’s production from overseas assets.
The signing was conducted on Tuesday evening on the sidelines of the 15th International Energy Forum (IEF) held by the Algerian government in its capital city of Algiers, which was attended by state delegations, energy practitioners and experts from 72 countries.
Algerian Energy Minister Noureddine Bouterfa, the Indonesian Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry’s oil and gas director general IGN Wiratmaja Puja as well as Indonesian Ambassador to Algeria Safira Machrusah witnessed the signing.
Pertamina president director Dwi Soetjipto said the deal, which follows up on an agreement from 2012, would help the two companies develop their capacity and build a partnership in the North African country and other parts of the world.
“We will conduct an analysis and evaluation regarding opportunities for exploration as well as participation in upstream and downstream [activities] and oil and gas services in Algeria, Indonesia and other countries,” he said.
The deal allows the two companies to exchange information on liquefied natural gas (LNG) and its downstream products and to team up and trade in the oil, gas and petrochemical sector. They can also conduct joint research and human resource development.
Dwi said the partnership in the upstream segment was the first step, as Pertamina sought to demonstrate its ability as operator in Algeria’s Menzel Lejmat North (MLN) oil field — which it acquired from American giant ConocoPhillips — and in two other Algerian blocks owned by Pertamina, namely El Merk (EMK) and Ourhoud.
Slamet Riady, president director of Pertamina International Exploration Production (PIEP), which is Pertamina’s upstream business unit, said the company had been importing 6 million barrels of oil per year from Algeria and expected to increase that number through capacity development.
Oil fields in Iraq are still Pertamina’s largest overseas assets with 43,700 boepd, while Malaysia is in third position with 35,770 boepd, after Algeria.
The Energy Ministry’s Wiratmaja said the government was also in talks with Sonatrach about the company’s investment plan in Indonesia, particularly in developing the country’s strategic petroleum reserve (SPR), in a bid to strengthen Indonesia’s position in the regional market.
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