ExxonMobil Unit Restarts Ops in Indonesia's Cepu Field

JAKARTA (Dow Jones Newswires), Aug. 31, 2009

Mobil Cepu Ltd. Monday restarted crude oil production at the Cepu field after a halt since March, according to the chairman of the upstream oil and gas regulator, BPMigas.

"I have checked just now (with Mobil Cepu) that production there has been restarted," Raden Priyono said.

Priyono added oil output from the field, located at the border of central and east Java, will likely be 2,000-5,000 barrels a day.

He also said the daily crude output was expected to increase to 15,000 barrels a day by the end of September.

Mobil Cepu, a venture between Exxon Mobil Corp. and state-owned PT Pertamina, suspended crude oil production from the block in late March as the local government hadn't given a permit to build a pipeline to carry the oil to storage tanks, Eddie Purwanto, deputy chairman for operations at BPMigas, told Dow Jones in April.

The government expects Cepu to reach a peak production of about 165,000 barrels a day by 2014.

It is banking on the field, which is estimated to contain 600 million barrels of oil, to boost the country's crude output from around 980,000 barrels a day currently and reclaim its status as net oil exporter.  

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