Mahakam Contract Area is located in East Kalimantan Province, Indonesia. It covers an operating area of 3,266 km2, and consists of 7 producing fields. Most of Mahakam hydrocarbon accumulations are located below body of water, with wellhead production facilities installed in the estuary of Mahakam river (referred as swamp area, 0 to 5m water depth) and the western part of Makassar Strait (referred as offshore area, 30 to 70 m water depth).

Mahakam production history goes as far back as mid 1970s with production of Handil and Bekapai oil fields. Gas production started by the decade of 1990s along with emergence of LNG trading, supplying Bontang LNG plant, through production of 2 giant gas fields: Tunu and Peciko, and smaller Tambora field. In the mid 2000s, Mahakam attained its peak gas production in the level of 2,600 MMscfd and was Indonesia's biggest gas producer. Two remaining gas discoveries, Sisi Nubi and South Mahakam, were put in production respectively in 2007 and 2012. Due to absence of new discoveries and new fields brought into production, Mahakam production has entered decline phase since 2010, and by end of 2020, after 46 years of production, the production is in the level of 600 MMscfd.

In 2018, along with the expiration of Mahakam production sharing contract, Pertamina Hulu Mahakam (PHM), a subsidiary of Indonesian national energy company, Pertamina, was awarded operatorship of Mahakam Block. This paper describes the efforts undertaken by PHM to fight production decline and rejuvenate development portfolio, with focus on expanding subsurface development portfolio and reserves renewal by optimizing development concept and cost through fit-for-purpose design, innovation, and full cycle value engineering.

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