Discovered by Unocal in 1998, the West Seno field, lying in water depths of about 3200 feet, is the first deepwater oil field in Indonesia.
Located in the Strait of Makassar, the West Seno field is about 50 km away from the giant Attaka field and 60 km from the Santan terminal in East Kalimantan.
The oil and gas are produced through a tension leg platform (TLP) which is also the first of its kind in Indonesia.
The floating topside of the tension leg platform is attached to the seafloor by four 3200 feet long tendons having a diameter of 26 inches and a wall thickness of 1.036 inches.
Currently, all the subsea wells are produced from platform TLP-A which can accommodate 28 wells. Unocal originally had planned to build two tension leg platforms.
Oil production from the West Seno wells began in 2003 and currently, they are producing about 1200 BOPD. The fluids from the subsea wells are initially separated into oil and gas on the FPU (Floating Production Unit).
The separated oil and gas are then transmitted via two 12-inch diameter and 60 km long pipelines to the onshore facilities at Santan for final handling and storage.
One of the oil production challenges of West Seno is handling the difficult-to-break emulsions. The emulsions are hard to break due to the presence of certain chemicals in the fluid, the decreasing fluid temperature as it rises to the surface, and the motion of the floating platform.
The West Seno offshore production facilities also handle the production from the nearby Bangka field. Bangka field produces about 1000 barrels of condensate daily and 40 MMSCF of gas per day.
The development of the West Seno field was made possible by having a favorable PSC profit splits of 35 percent instead of the regular 15 percent for shelf developments.
According to EIA, the US Energy Information Agency, the top ten countries with the largest amount of proven oil reserves in 2017 are:
Venezuela – 300 billion barrels
Saudi Arabia – 266 billion barrels
Canada – 170 billion barrels
Iran – 158 billion barrels
Iraq – 142 billion barrels
Kuwait – 101 billion barrels
UAE – 98 billion barrels
Russia – 80 billion barrels
Libya – 48 billion barrels
Nigeria – 37 billion barrels
The United States, currently the largest oil producer in the world, is ranked at number eleven with proven oil reserves of 35 billion barrels of oil. Most of the increases in oil production in the US come from the production of shale oil. The US is the world leader in oil shale drilling.
It is interesting that although Venezuela has the most oil in the ground, it is no longer one of the top ten oil producers in the world.
In 2018, daily world oil production amounts to around 92 million barrels per day, increasing slightly 0.7% from previous year.
Here are the world top ten oil producers according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) in 2017:
USA – 15.6 Million barrels of oil per day
Saudi Arabia – 12.1 Million BOPD
Russia – 11.2 Million BOPD
Canada – 5.0 Million BOPD
China – 4.8 Million BOPD
Iran – 4.7 Million BOPD
Iraq – 4.5 Million BOPD
UAE – 3.7 Million BOPD
Brazil – 3.4 Million BOPD
Kuwait – 2.9 Million BOPD
The USA is the largest oil producer in the world in 2017. The production of crude oil in the USA is expected to increase into 2019. The USA is also the world’s largest consumer of oil. Its daily oil consumption in 2019 is projected to increase by 340,000 barrels to 20.65 million barrels, according to EIA.
EIA reported on 21 December 2018 United States produced a total of 16.3 million barrels per day of crude oil and natural gas liquids in November 2018. This total production consists of 11.7 million BPD of crude oil and 4.6 BPD of natural gas liquids or NGL.
Saudi Arabia, on the other hand, is the largest oil exporting country. As the most well-known and influential oil producer, it has 260 billion barrels of oil reserves, which is about 22% of the world’s oil reserves.
Since 1966 when Indonesia began offering production sharing contracts (PSC) for international companies to explore and produce oil and gas in Indonesia, many giant and super-giant oil and gas fields were discovered.
Giant fields are those with estimated ultimate recoverable reserves (EUR) of 500 million barrels of oil or gas equivalent (MMBOE) and super giant oil fields are those holding an equivalent of 5.5 billion barrels of oil reserves.
Here are the ten giant offshore oil and gas fields in Indonesia discovered between 1966 and 2000.
1. Abadi Field
Abadi is a giant gas field discovered by Inpex in 2000 in the Masela contract area in the Arafura Sea. The Abadi field has an estimated ultimate recovery (EUR) of 768 MMBOE and it is located 93 miles offshore from the province of Maluku in the eastern part of Indonesia.
Originally the field would be developed using a subsea production system and a floating LNG (FLNG) facility. The plan now is to develop the field based on an onshore LNG development concept.
Inpex in partnership with Royal Dutch Shell is currently conducting preliminary front-end engineering design (Pre-FEED) studies for the Abadi field development based on an onshore concept. The LNG project will produce 9.5 MM tons of LNG annually.
When developed, the Abadi field may become the biggest deepwater gas project in Indonesia. It is expected to produce more than 1 billion SCF of gas per day and 20,000 barrels of condensate per day for 24 years.
2. Gula Field
The Gula field is an offshore gas field discovered by Unocal in its Ganal production sharing contract area located in the Kalimantan strait in 2000. With an estimated ultimate recovery (EUR) of 545 MMBOE, it is a giant gas field.
The Gula field, along with the Gendalo discovery and the Gada discovery, is one of the many discoveries made by Unocal in the deep-water area between Kalimantan and Sulawesi. These discoveries confirm that the Central Delta play contains world-class gas resources.
The Gula field is currently an undeveloped discovered resource.
3. Ubadari Field
Ubadari is a giant offshore gas field discovered in 1997. The Ubadari field has an EUR of 500 MMBOE and it is located at Bintuni Bay in West Irian province.
The Ubadari field will supply its gas to the Tangguh LNG plant when the Tangguh LNG Train-3 project is completed in 2020. The Tangguh expansion aims at meeting the ever-increasing demand for energy in Indonesia and accelerating the development of West Irian.
PLN, Indonesia’s electricity company, has signed a sales and purchase agreement to buy up to 1.5 million tons of LNG produced by Tangguh LNG plant annually.
Tangguh LNG plant is scheduled to process the gas produced from the six gas fields located at Bintuni Bay: Vorwata, Wiriagar Deep, Ofaweri, Roabiba, Ubadari, and Wos.
4. Vorwata Field
Vorwata is an offshore giant gas field located in Bintuni Bay in West Irian Province. The Vorwata field, with an EUR of 1833 MMBOE, was discovered by ARCO in the Berau block in 1997. BP became the operator of the Vorwata field after it acquired ARCO.
Gas production from the Vorwata field started in 2009. The field is capable of producing more than 1 BCF of gas per day and the gas is processed into LNG by the Tangguh LNG plant.
5. West Seno Field
The West Seno field is a deepwater oil field discovered by Unocal in 1996. Having an EUR of 553 MMBOE, it is a giant oil field and is currently operated by Chevron.
Lying in water depths of 2,400 to 3,400 feet, the West Seno field is Indonesia’s first deepwater development. It lies in the Makassar Strait PSC off Kalimantan on the continental slope of the northern Mahakam Delta.
The oil is produced using a tension leg platform and a floating production unit, tied back by two export pipelines to onshore infrastructure.
6. Peciko Field
Peciko is a gas field located offshore in the Mahakam Delta in East Kalimantan. The field was discovered by Total with INPEX as its partner in 1991. The Peciko is a giant gas field having an EUR of 1180 MMBOE.
Of all the producing fields in the Mahakam River delta, the Peciko field is unique in that its reservoir trap is both structural and stratigraphic.
The Peciko wells are highly productive having an average well productivity of 80 MMSCF of gas per day. Total daily gas production reached 1700 MMSCFD during its peak in 2005-2006. A substantial quantity of condensate is being produced along with the gas.
7. Tunu Field
The Tunu field is a supergiant gas field discovered by Total along with Inpex as its partner in 1977. It is located in the shallow waters along the outer limits of the delta offshore Mahakam Block in East Kalimantan. It has an EUR of 4378 MMBOE.
Started in 1978, the Tunu field produces gas and condensate having negligible CO2 or H2S, with the main productive reservoirs lying at depths from 2,200 to 4,900 meters.
Developing the large Tunu field is challenging and producing the gas requires drilling a large number of wells. The field has a large surface area of 20 Km wide and 75 Km long and it is located at the wetland of Mahakam swamp.
8. East Natuna Field
The offshore East Natuna gas field was discovered by AGIP in 1970. It is located 140 miles northeast of the Natuna Islands, Indonesia’s northernmost territory. It is a super-giant gas field with estimated recoverable reserves of 46 trillion cubic feet (TCF) of gas.
There were serious studies done and attempts made by Exxon-Mobil and Pertamina to develop this field.
The field is currently undeveloped due to its very high CO2 content of 71%. To produce the gas will require removing the CO2 from the gas and injecting it back into the reservoir. Production can be commercially viable when the price of oil is above $100 per barrel.
9. Attaka Field
The Attaka field is a giant oil and gas field discovered by Unocal in partnership with Inpex in 1970. Chevron became the field operator after it acquired Unocal in 2005. Having an EUR of 1000 MMBOE, the Attaka field is located 12 miles from the shore of East Kalimantan.
The huge Attaka reservoir, formed in the very prolific Kutei basin, has an areal closure of 8000 acres. Due to its large areal extent, originally the oil and gas were produced from more than 100 wells located in 6 remote wellhead platforms.
Ten years later, five subsea wells were completed in 1981-1984 to produce the untapped oil accumulation in areas out of reach of the existing remote platforms. These are the first subsea completions in Indonesia.
Attaka field daily oil production was 110,000 BOPD at its peak and gas production was 150 MMSCFPD. Now the Attaka field is quite depleted.
10. Ardjuna Field
The Ardjuna Field is a giant oil field having an EUR of 698 MMBOE. This is the first offshore giant field discovered since the birth of the Indonesian PSC system in 1966.
The Ardjuna field was discovered by ARCO in the Offshore North West Java (ONWJ) production sharing contract area in 1969. Subsequently, it was operated by BP when it acquired ARCO in 2000. Now the field is operated by Pertamina Hulu Energy ONWJ Ltd.
Interesting facts about the Ardjuna field include the drilling of the first horizontal well in Indonesia in 1985 and supplying gas to PLN’s power plant in Muara Karang in Jakarta in 1993.
Pertamina’s refinery in Cilacap began using crude oil from the Ardjuna field in 1986.