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Thursday, 12 August 2021 00:00

Can PT Pertamina Manage the Rokan Block?

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State-owned oil and gas company, PT Pertamina officially takes over the Rokan block from the previous operator PT Chevron Pacific Indonesia -a subsidiary of a multinational energy company Chevron Corp. Since Monday (09/08), the management of the oil field in Rokan block, Riau Province has been in the hands of PT Pertamina Hulu Rokan.

Indonesian Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Arifin Tasrif said the takeover was a milestone in Indonesian upstream oil and gas industry.

Yes, the government handed over the Rokan block to PT Pertamina. But, can they really manage the Rokan Block? Can they maintain the oil production or even surpass the current oil production?

Based on data from Oil and Gas Special Regulatory Task Force (SKK Migas) as per June 2021 under PT Chevron Pacific Indonesia, Rokan block produced 165,000 barrels of oil per day or around 24 percent of total national oil production.

The greatest challenge faced by PT Pertamina is maintaining the production number or increasing it. Maintaining the production is not easy. Therefore, as posted by PT Pertamina on their Instagram on Wednesday (11/8), President Joko Widodo asked the company to work its fingers to the bone for the sake of the Rokan block's continuity.

PT Pertamina needs to work hard so that bad history does not repeat. When PT Pertamina took over Blok Mahakam, the production dropped significantly. Another decrease in production will be a bad precedent.

To increase production after the takeover, PT Pertamina targets to drill 161 new oil wells in August-December 2021, in the hope that Rokan can maintain their current production and become one of the nation's main oil producers.

In achieving this goal, PT Pertamina needs qualified human resources who truly understand oil block management. It will also need sophisticated techs or at least the ones in the same level with Chevron's in managing the oil well.

PT Pertamina Hulu Rokan must show the world that they can manage the Rokan block and even do better than PT Chevron Pacific Indonesia. Therefore, PT Pertamina will be able to support national energy security.

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