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Santos cuts Jeruk to 50 million barrels as woes mount JAKARTA - MORE than two years after indicating it had a massive oil discovery in Indonesia, Santos yesterday disclosed reserves at its Jeruk find were "most likely to be less than 50 million barrels". The sharp downgrade - to less than a third of the estimate only four months ago - adds to Santos's Indonesian woes with the company battling perceptions that its involvement in the Banjar Pangi-1 well - which this week was implicated in a fatal gas explosion - might damage its vital relationship with the Indonesian Government.

While Santos managing director John Ellice-Flint has been cautious recently in commenting on Jeruk's prospects - he once said it could contain as much as the 170 million barrels estimated to be contained in the Exeter Mutineer reservoirs off Western Australia - analysts had initially predicted Jeruk could contain as much as 800 million barrels of oil, while castigating Santos for its caution in releasing reserves estimates.

Initial reports in 2004 suggested that Santos had made the biggest oil strike in its 50-year history with analysts claiming the company was well on the way to achieving its strategic objective of reducing reliance on the declining oil and gas reserves in the Cooper Basin. But in July Santos said results from the Jeruk-3 appraisal well indicated the likely reserves were less than the 170 million barrels reported to the market at the beginning of 2005.

Yesterday, Santos told the stock exchange it had been undertaking technical work to integrate all well and seismic data to better determine the most likely oil resource range. "This analysis is now largely complete and whilst there are substantial remaining reservoir uncertainties, the upside recoverable oil resource for Jeruk is most likely to be less than 50 million barrels," Santos said.

It added that opportunities to commercialise Jeruk, which is located about 42km off the coast of Surabaya, Indonesia's second-largest city, were being pursued. "Plans for additional appraisal drilling have been placed on hold pending the review of development scenarios, and the resolution of commercial and technical issues may potentially impact the viability of any development, " the company added.

A Santos spokesman said there was no new information concerning the explosion and fire on Wednesday that cut the East Java gas pipeline close to the remedial work being undertaken to halt the mud flow that began on May 27 at Banjar Pangi-1.



Posted in Economy @ 27 November 2006 10:46 CET by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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