Black Platinum Energy is set to proceed with exploration and appraisal/development activities to prove its shallow gas plays in East Natuna, offshore Indonesia, despite low oil prices.

As part of its plans, the company will drill Paus Hitam-1 exploration well in its Sokang PSC and one or two appraisal wells in its North Sokang PSC within the next 12-18 months.

During early 2017, one exploration well would be drilled targeting an unrisked mean exploration prospect, Paus Hitam-1 of P50 878 Bcf in the lower pliocene sands.

"A successful result in a Paus Hitam-1 well along with the adjacent East Dara gas discovery would further boost the commercial potential of shallow gas in the East Natuna region."

Black Platinum Energy CEO Judiana Ardiwinata said: "Recent success in the upper & lower pliocene (in interval above 800m) in the adjacent North Sokang PSC (East Dara gas discovery) provides a low CO2 play analogy for a Paus Hitam-1 well.

"A successful result in a Paus Hitam-1 well along with the adjacent East Dara gas discovery would further boost the commercial potential of shallow gas in the East Natuna region and likely unlock a huge amount of potential gas resources in the greater Natuna Sea, which were previously deemed shallow gas hazards and not commercially viable".

In its North Sokang PSC, the company plans to drill one or two appraisal wells in mid- 2017 on the East Dara gas structure to further test the upper and lower pliocene gas resources.

On the West Flank of the East Dara structure, the company plans to drill Dara 5 appraisal well and Dara-6 well.

Ardiwinata added: "The company had already studied a number of commercialisation options for the East Dara gas field, which included a tie-in to the West Natuna pipeline system, a new-build pipeline to Natuna Island and a FLNG vessel, and the company has determined a FLNG solution provided the best commercial and operational results."

For the East Dara gas field, the company completed a preliminary plan of development and further pre-FEED/FEED work was required to finalise the plan.