Santos, the Australian oil and gas firm, has started gas production from the Wortel discovery off the coast of Indonesia.

Located on the Sempang production sharing contract (PSC), the development involves two gas wells, an unmanned wellhead platform and a 10km gas pipeline to the existing Santos-operated Oyong facilities.

Santos said gross gas production from the combined Oyong and Wortel fields is expected to be 90TJ a day. The gas will be exported through an existing pipeline to the Grati processing plant, where it will be sold for domestic power generation.

Santos chief executive David Knox said Wortel is the fourth project in the base business to start production in the past eight months, driving production growth in 2012. "The successful on-budget delivery of Wortel is another milestone in our focused growth strategy in Asia," he said.

Santos vice president Martyn Eames added that completion of the Wortel development will extend the economic life of the Oyong facilities; it also continues Santos’s strong track record of project delivery in Indonesia.

"Wortel adds a third producing asset to our growing Indonesian portfolio and demonstrates Santos’ commitment to supply the growing demand for natural gas in East Java," said Eames. "We are also undertaking front-end engineering design on the Peluang asset, which will tie back to our existing Maleo platform."

The firm is operator of the Sampang PSC and holds a 45% stake with partners SPC and Cue, which have 40% and 15% respectively.