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The Korean-Indonesian Pilot Decommissioning Project is swiftly ongoing off the coast of Balikpapan, Indonesia. This Government-to-Government (G2G) project between the Republic of Korea and the Republic of Indonesia was initially established under an MoU for Cooperation in the Offshore Plant Service Industry in 2021 and a 2022 Implementing Arrangement signed by both nations.

The platform targeted is owned by Pertamina Hulu Kalimantan Timur (PHKT), previously operated by Chevron. For the decommissioning process, PHKT succeeded in partnering with KHAN Offshore Consortium to dismantle this platform. Such a partnership is further established by a Project Agreement signed in August of 2022. This project has also been supported by other Korean companies as the members of the consortium, namely Rovostech, ZEN, Samin SMT, KOC, JD Engineering , BMI, Ocean Wide, CIIZ, Korea Aquatic Life Institute, and Neo-Max, in which progress would not have been possible without.

The project is carried out using a Hyundai HD2500 vessel, and the sail away ceremony, attended by both Korean and Indonesian stakeholders, initiated the long journey the vessel took from Batam to the field in Attaka. By the 27th of October, the vessel arrived at Attaka field safely, ready to commence the decommissioning work.

After preparation work, the crew, consisting of Indonesians and personnel of other nationalities, began the technical execution of the dismantlement. By November 14th, the cutting of all four conductors and jacket were finished, and the cut platform was safely lifted in one piece and transferred onto HD2500.

Upon dismantling, the jacket and topside of the platform are currently being transported to the reefing area near a conservation zone off the coast of Bontang, Kalimantan. The decommissioned platform will be transformed into artificial reefs to support coral conservation and encourage future  Rig-to-Reef implementation in Indonesian waters.

“This is a meaningful project that Korea and Indonesia have collaborated on to resolve Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) issues. We hope that this pilot project is completed safely and successfully, and that we can look forward to have continuous collaborations on the Business-to-Business (B2B) level in future follow up projects,” said Mr. Cho Il-Hyung, Co-Director of the Korea-indonesia Offshore Research Cooperation Center (KIORCC).

“Decommissioning projects are integral to SKK Migas’ strategic plan and are a part of the obligations of the upstream oil & gas industry in environmental recovery after the completion of operations. We are grateful that the first upstream oil and gas decommissioning project can be implemented smoothly,” said Head of SKK Migas Mr. Dwi Soetjipto.

The decommissioning of oil and gas platforms is a series of activities for dismantling equipment, installations and/or supporting facilities including permanent closing of wells, site restoration and handling of disposal or removal of equipment, installations and/or facilities in upstream oil and gas business activities carried out before or at the end of the production sharing contract. In the present, there are approximately 600 platforms in Indonesian waters, with around 100 of them being idle, and the rest of them aging.

Korean parties will continue to work closely with Indonesian stakeholders post-decommissioning, particularly with the Indonesian Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries to monitor the development of the reefed Attaka EB Rig, hopefully as a spearhead in future decommissioning projects that can also benefit marine ecosystems.