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Murphy Oil to return Semai II Block and South Barito to Indonesia government

JAKARTA ( – Murphy Oil Corporation, through its subsidiary Murphy Semai Oil Co. Ltd has planned to return two exploration blocks, Semai II Block and South Barito to the Indonesian government after the company found that the two blocks were not commercially viable, an official at the Special Task Force for Upstream Oil and Gas Business (SKK Migas) said.

Murphy Oil developed South Barito in South Kalimantan province through its unit Murphy South Barito Ltd.

The Head of Public Relation Division of SKK Migas Elan Biantoro said in addition to the two blocks, Murphy Oil also in the process of selling two blocks, Semai IV and Wokam II to PT Saka Energi, a subsidiary of PT Perusahaan Gas Negara (PGN) Tbk.

The handover and divestment of the two blocks are being processed by the government, he said late Thursday.

He said Murphy has performed its commitment in exploring Semai II Block. As reported by earlier, Murphy Semai Oil Co. Ltd in West Papua has spudded the Serai-1 which is located in offshore Fak-Fak Regency with water depth of 90 meters and 2,290 meters depth from seabed as well as Bawang Putih-1 exploration wells in June last year.

The drilling programs were carried out by COSL BOSS Rig, owned by China Oilfield Services Ltd.

The two wells are considered wildcat wells. Semai II Block covers 2,000 square kilometers, offshoshore West Papua.

Apart from Murphy Oil, there are also a number of Production Sharing Contractors (PSCs) that are conducting explorations in Papua and Maluku, namely BP Indonesia Ltd (Berau, Mutuari, Wiriagar), Petrochina International (Bermuda) Ltd, PT Pertamina EP Aset-5 Field Papua, Citic Seram Energy Ltd, Alrez Petroleum (Seram) Ltd and JOB PertaminaPetrochina Salawati as well as Inpex Masela in Arafura Sea.

Some of them have discovered oil and gas reserves such as Genting Oil of Malaysia, while others have hit dry-holes, prompting them to return the blocks to the government. (*)

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