Jakarta. State-owned energy company Pertamina has targeted to increase oil production by 67 percent to 700,000 barrels per day in 2026 from 420,000 barrels per day to support Indonesia's goal of reducing the country's oil import.
Indonesia used to be one of the top oil producers and a member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). However, decades of neglected investment and exploration combined with rising demand have turned the country into a net oil importer. Last year, Indonesia imported 216.500 barrels per day (bpd), down from 335.833 bpd in 2018, data from CEIC showed, contributing to its $7.5 billion current account deficit.
The government has been adamant about flipping this condition around and targeted to increase Indonesia's total oil production to 1 million bpd in 2030, from 750,000 bpd today.
"In line with the government's target of 1 million barrels per day, Pertamina must increase its production to at least 700,000 barrels per day," Nicke Widyawati, Pertamina's president director, said in an interview with Sixty Minutes on BeritaSatu TV on Thursday.
"We have set several steps, and we are optimistic that we can improve them in 2026," she said.
Pertamina, which also celebrated its 63rd anniversary on Thursday, banked on oil production from the Rokan block it is taking over from Chevron Pacific Indonesia, a local arm of the American oil and gas company, to boost its oil production.
"With the entry of the Rokan Block, Pertamina's contribution to national crude production will increase from around 40 percent to 60 percent," Nicke said.
The company was also improving old oil wells using enhanced oil recovery (EOR) technology on top of Pertamina's exploration efforts.
"As an illustration, this year we are drilling around 7,000 wells per year for exploration and exploitation to increase production," Nicke said.
"To increase reserves, we are also aggressively conducting the seismic survey. We have just completed a 2D seismic survey for an area stretching by 30,000 kilometers in 33 basins. This is the longest survey ever conducted in Southeast Asia for the last 10 years," she said.
"We hope that with this 2D seismic survey — and, thank God, we get the Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources to upgrade to 3D — there will be a giant discovery which can increase reserves and later increase upstream production," Nicke said.
Pertamina allocated 60 percent of the total capital expenditure per year for upstream activities, including finding domestic reserves and acquiring oil and gas fields abroad.
"The fastest way [to increase production] is to balance the two because finding a new giant discovery in the country takes time. Overseas acquisitions can pad up our production in the medium term. Of course, to reduce the risk, we have to find wells that are already in production,” she said.
Currently, Pertamina operates in 14 countries, producing 150,000 bpd.
"The principle is 'Bring the Barrel Home' because basically, we are acquiring to increase domestic production and reserves," Nicke said.