Eko Rukmono – VP Operations & Country Manager, Pertamina Algeria
The country manager of Pertamina Algeria describes the strategic importance of Algeria, as the first country where Pertamina is producing outside of Indonesia, and assesses the country's role in providing the crude for Indonesia's domestic consumption.
As VP operations and country manager of Pertamina Algeria, what has been your mandate in recent years?
I have been with Pertamina for 24 years now. For half of my career I was in Indonesia, and my first assignment for international operations was in Tripoli from 2008 to 2011, just before the Libyan revolution. I was then transferred back to Jakarta to manage our assets in the Middle East and Africa, which consisted of Libya, Sudan and Qatar, among other international endeavors. On December 2013, Pertamina appointed me as VP Operations and Country Manager.
How important is this region for the future of Pertamina, and what kind of experiences you had during the recent years in Algeria?
Our corporate strategy—the first, second and third priority for the future development of Pertamina—has already been defined. Furthermore, the Middle East and Africa region is one of the top priorities for this further growth, specifically, Algeria as the first country where Pertamina operates the production field out of Indonesia.
It has been a huge learning experience for us in Algeria. There have been many challenges we faced and solved in the critical transition period (hand over from Conoco Phillips to Pertamina) during our first year in Algeria with absolutely the support from Sonatrach.
You have started shipping your crude in the beginning of 2014. As well, you are planning to ship your crude every two months including to Indonesia refinery, have you reached the targets?
We have accomplished the target during 2014 and hopefully we will continue this success story in 2015 forward. The shipment to Pertamina Refinery helps Indonesia in providing the crude for domestic consumption.
Pertamina’s stake in the three oil fields in Algeria is estimated to 23,000 barrels per day. You are aiming to raise this to 30,000 over the next two years. What are your plans for achieving this target?
The production in Algeria should always follow the RDP, which is the abbreviation for the reservoir development plan. For the time being, we will refer to the RDP 2005. Now however, we plan to revise the RDP, and we are working towards a new plan. Hopefully, once this RDP is approved, Pertamina can increase the production.
As an operator, what technology you are looking to introduce in order to get as much out of your wells in Algeria as possible?
We do have important technologies to boost oil production; however, for the time being, there have not been implemented in our operations. In our field, we are injecting gas to maintain the reservoir pressure. At the moment, we are more focused on reactivating some wells with the workover programs. We will also add more wells after our new RDP is approved.
You have many years of experience working abroad, what are some specific points you find important to working in a country such as Algeria?
Working in a country like Algeria, Libya and Sudan seems like working at home in Indonesia. As you know, Indonesia and Algeria have long history, especially when Indonesia initiated Asia-Africa Conference in 1955. Algerians always consider Indonesians as their brothers. It helps Pertamina a lot to run its business in this country.
What would you like to have achieved in Algeria in the next three to five years?
We would like to increase production, of course. We are also trying expanding our business. Algeria as one of the most stable countries in the region with big reserves and potential resources in oil and gas, which is a reason why we are here and why we plan on staying here over the long run.