Vice Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Arcandra Tahar at Insider Network Event at April 23 - Photo by MEMR

JAKARTA (TheInsiderStories) – Indonesia still experienced a gas balance deficit of US$7.2 million in August, said one senior official government on Monday (01/09). In 2017, the country’s oil and gas deficit was recorded at $7.7 million.

“Our prognosis until the end of the year deficit this year will be greater than last year,” deputy minister for Energy and Mineral Resources (MEMR) Arcandra Tahar told reporters at his office.

He added, the balance sheet deficit was caused by the movement of crude oil prices and also the increase in oil consumption.

Indonesian government has announced will release a national gas balance which will show the total supply of gas, producers and consumers across the country. The government will also develop gas as one of the prime movers of the economic growth, and not only as a commodity as it is now treated.

“We will use it to increase the value chain of our industries. It can be used to support the development of petrochemical products, fertilizers and others,” he said at the limited meeting at the State Palace on Sept. 13.

Tahar explained, designed for the time frame of 2018-2027, it will consist of six regions, and three scenarios of demands to estimate the national gas demand in Indonesia.

Although Indonesia is still experiencing a deficit, he guarantees that by 2027 the lifting of natural gas will still be at 8.048 million cubic feet per day (MMSCFD). For this, it is estimated that Indonesia’s gas lifting is still at 7.45 MMSCFD, but in the next 2022 it will reach 8.6 MMSCFD.

Tahar estimates the growth of gas distribution by 2027 will be constant at 1.1 percent. He doesn’t deny this number is not a standard number. Because, the growth of gas distribution is always fluctuating. This can be seen from the movement of gas distribution which has dropped and risen since 2014.

However, he stated the growth of gas distribution is very influential on the growth of infrastructure development. The vice minister assesses the most important part of a gas business is infrastructure.

Furthermore Tahar said that this infrastructure is divided into two, the construction of pipelines and the availability of floating storage and regasification units. Moreover, he continued, the availability of this infrastructure also greatly affects domestic gas security.

Because, when viewed by its components, 58.59 percent of gas production is utilized by domestic, while 41.41 percent is exported. Both of these goals can last stable if there is a supporting infrastructure.