Indonesia’s Special Task Force for Upstream Oil and Gas Business Activities (SKK Migas) has formally granted approval to the proposed phase 1 plan of development (POD) for steamflood enhanced oil recovery (EOR) at the Rantaubais field.

The project is managed by Pertamina Hulu Rokan (PHR), the cooperation contract contractor (KKKS). It involves an investment of IDR3.7 trillion ($239m).

SKK Migas said that the investment will be made for drilling wells, building hot steam production facilities (steam stations), and upgrading production facilities.

SKK Migas Exploration, Development and Work Area Management Deputy Benny Lubiantara said that the POD approval was significant as Rantaubais is the second oil field in Indonesia to implement EOR on a commercial scale using steam injection technology (steamflood).

The development comes after nearly three decades since the Duri Field initiated the method in 1995.

Moreover, Rantaubais is the first commercial EOR project produced entirely by Pertamina Hulu Rokan, considering that the Duri steamflood project was executed by the previous operator Caltex/Chevron.

About the potential expansion of oil reserves resulting from the first phase of Rantaubais field development, Benny stated that it is anticipated to reach 11 million barrels.

The peak production is estimated at 5,500 barrels of oil per day (bopd), which surpasses more than double the previous production level, which stood at approximately 2,000bopd.

Benny said that the resultant economic impact is substantial with an estimated state revenue of up to IDR4.8 trillion ($310m) coming from the Rantaubais EOR project. Additionally, he emphasised that the project will not only bolster oil production but also yield substantial economic benefits for Indonesia.

Furthermore, Benny conveyed that the approval of the project is a key accomplishment in fulfilling one of the EOR definite work commitments within the initial five-year period after assuming control from the previous operator.

By the year-end, the Indonesian government, through SKK Migas, is expected to conclude the approval process for another EOR project, which is phase 1 of chemical EOR in the Minas field.

The Rantaubais and Minas fields are part of the Rokan oil and gas block located on Sumatra Island, which has been producing since 1951. In August 2021, Pertamina took over the operations of the block from Chevron.