Three oil firms invest $1.6 billion this year

Three oil and gas companies–ChevronTexaco Corporation of the United States, TotalFinaElf of France and Gulf Indonesia Resources of Canada–have planned a combined investment worth US$1.6 billion this year to develop the Indonesian oil and gas resources.
ChevronTexaco’s vice chairman Peter J. Robertson said the company was ready to invest $450 million through its Indonesian subsidiary PT Caltex Pacific Indonesia (CPI) and other affiliates. He said that $225 million of the $450 million investment would be spent to develop its Area 10 and 11 fields in North Duri, Riau, and another $120 million to develop its offshore gas field in the West Natuna area of the South China Sea. Robertson didn’t specify where the remaining $105 million would be spent. In addition to the amount, he said, ChevronTexaco expected to spend at least $450 million more in the country in the coming years to capitalize on opportunities that may emerge following the liberalization of the country’s oil and gas sector. ChevronTexaco, which has thus far been involved in the upstream sector, would expand into the downstream sector. But, he noted, to date, the company had no intention to build oil refineries in the country, citing the current excess capacities of oil refineries in South East Asia. In the region, the company has a refinery operation in Singapore.
Meanwhile, Ananda Idris, spokesman for TotalFinaElf E&P Indonesie said the company would invest about $1 billion this year mainly to raise its gas output to 2.4 billion standard cubic feet per day (bcfd) from about 2.1 bcfd. He added the company’s target was part of its commitment to supply more gas to the Badak liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant to boost the plant’s LNG exports.
TotalFinaElf also expected to spend another $1 billion next year in expansion activities, Ananda said, but he did not elaborate. Currently, TotalFinaElf, the largest gas producer in the country, operates several oil and gas fields in the Mahakam river area, in East Kalimantan.
Separately, Gulf’s spokesman Syahman Ginting said the company was investing $112 million this year to double its gas production to 600 mmscfd. Gulf currently operates several oil and gas fields in Jambi, Sumatra. Its oil production stands at about 70,000 bpd.

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