Indonesia’s upstream regulator SKK Migas has approved the revised plan of development for Eni’s Merakes offshore asset, which includes approval for the exploitation of the ultra-deepwater Merakes East satellite field.

The revised plan envisages estimated investments of $3.35 billion, comprising capital expenditure of $2.14 billion and operational expenditure of $1.26 billion.

SKK Migas spokesperson Mohammad Kemal said that under the new development plan, the project's total production capacity would increase to a maximum 440 million cubic feet of gas, reported Reuters. The original Merakes POD had pegged investments at $1.3 billion with peak production of 368 MMcfd of gas.

Merakes East, which lies just three kilometres east of the now producing Merakes field on Eni’s East Sepinggan production sharing contract, was discovered in late 2018. Merakes East will be developed as a subsea satellite tie-back to the operator’s producing Jangkrik floating production unit about 33 kilometres away.

The Merakes East discovery well was drilled to a measured depth of 3400 metres from a water depth of 1592 metres and encountered 15 metres of gas-bearing net sands in two distinct levels of Miocene age.

The production test, which was limited by surface facilities, recorded excellent gas deliverability of the reservoir. Eni at the time said that analysis of the test data showed that in production configuration the well could deliver 70 million cubic feet per day of gas and 1000 barrels per day of associated condensates.

Merakes East is targeting start-up in 2024, the same year when a booster compression module is due to come into operation at Jangkrik.

Upstream has approached Italian energy giant Eni for comment on approval of the revised Merakes POD.

Merakes East will be exploited in tandem with further infill drilling at the main Jangkrik field, partner Neptune Energy earlier said.

“Development of both fields will help support continued high utilisation of the Jangkrik FPU,” Neptune previously said.

To maintain gas production levels in 2023 from the existing Jangkrik and Merakes fields, the co-venturers performed a three-well sidetrack programme on the Jangkrik-12, Merakes-6 and Merakes-7 wells. The last of this three-well campaign — Merakes-6 — is expected to come online early this year with the other two sidetracks already producing.

Gas from the two offshore fields is used as feedstock at the Bontang liquefied natural gas project in Indonesia’s East Kalimantan province.

Situated in 1500 metres of water 35 kilometres southwest of the Jangkrik FPU in the Makassar Strait, Merakes has estimated resources of about 2 trillion cubic feet of lean gas in place.

Partners in the East Sepinggan PSC are operator Eni with 65% equity, Neptune on 20% and national oil and gas company Pertamina’s subsidiary Pertamina Hulu Energi having 15%.

The contract's 30-year production term expires in July 2042.

Updated to include investment figures and maximum gas production figures.

Stay a step ahead with the Upstream News app
Read high quality news and insight on the oil and gas business and its energy transition on-the-go. The News app offers you more control over your Upstream reading experience than any other platform.