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Indonesia unlikely to import gas until 2020 as domestic output rises

JAKARTA ( –  Indonesia is unlikely to import natural gas until 2020 as natural gas production from major gas projects increases and demand from power plants lower than early plan, a government official said.

Earlier, the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry has projected that Indonesia may have to import gas from 2019 due to limited domestic production.

Indonesia is a largest natural gas (liquefied natural gas/LNG) in the world.

Director General for Oil and Gas at the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry (ESDM) I Gusti Nyoman Wiratmaja said the revision of target was due to changes in production projection of major gas producers, namely Jangkrik Field, operated by ENI Muara Bakau B.V and additional gas production of Tangguh LNG Train 3 project in Bintuni, West Papua.

In addition, the lower-than-expected demand for natural gas was due to delay completion of some gas power plants, under the government’s 35 GW power plant program. The energy ministry has said around 19GW of the program may be completed by 2019.

Earlier, state energy company PT Pertamina has signed deal with Cheniere Energy of US to import LNG from 2019. Given abundant domestic gas production, the import of LNG may not be done from 2019.

Wiratmaja said Eni Muara Bakau B.V, a subsidaey of ENI of Italy, has decided to increase its gas production from 450 million standard cubic feet per day (mmscfd) to 600 mmscfd.

The Jangkrik gas processing, FPU, could be also used to process gas fro Merakes field in East Sepingan Block in Makassar Strait.

At present, not all LNG produced domestically are absorbed by domestic buyers. Wiratmaja said currently 19 out of 60 cargoes of LNG are yet to have committed buyers. The LNG are currently being offered to buyers at the spot market.

Meanwhile, the Tangguh LNG Train III project is projected to produce 3.8 million tons per annum (mtpa) from 2020. (*)

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