TotalFinaElf to Spend $1 Bln for Additional Development of Gas Fields

French oil company TotalFinaElf reports it will spend $1 billion for additional development of gas fields in 2002 and 2003 in East Kalimantan aimed at maintaining and boosting production. "We need to maintain and boost our natural gas production to feed Bontang liquefied natural gas (LNG) plants. We will spend $1 billion for additional development of Paciko and Tunu gas fields for 2002 and 2003," Ananda Idris, TotalFinaElf Indonesia head of corporate communications told reporters.

Production from the Peciko and Tunu fields, located offshore of East Kalimantan, currently totals about 1.7 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day, he said. "We need to build more platforms and other supporting equipment to boost production to a level of 2.2-2.3 billion cubic feet per day." Idris said TotalFinaElf was one of the natural gas suppliers to Indonesia state oil company Pertamina's eight Bontang LNG plants. "The additional development of Peciko and Tunu is also aimed at securing natural gas supply to Bontang LNG plants. Total is also ready to supply more natural gas if Pertamina has new markets for the LNG." Pertamina production capacity was around 22.5 million tonnes annually in Bontang LNG plants.

Indonesia is the world's biggest LNG exporter at more than 23 million tonnes a year. The main buyers are Japan, South Korea and Taiwan.