During 1980-1990, the economic growth of South East Asia countries ranged between 5.5% to 7.9% per year. Along with this development, the energy would be an important element to maintain or increase this growth. In Indonesia, for instant, the growth of energy demand is estimated to be 6% during years of 2000 to 2010. For natural gas demand especially, Indonesia will consume about 1.1 Tcf/year. Java Island, in this case, would become the highest increase of energy demand, from 393 MMcf/D in 1989 to 1200 MMcf/D by 2010. By that time, the natural gas production from both non associated gas and associated gas reservoirs in the Northwest Java basin from where the large amount of gas is produced, is predicted to decline.

In order to overcome this problem, another prospective gas resources that could be exploited is coalbed methane. This kind of prospective gas resource has been found in large reserve in the of Northwest Java basin, especially in Talang Akar formation. some of the coalbed methane layers found in Talang Akar posses overpressure condition. In this formation, it is found that the vitrine reflectance of coal, ranges from 0.5% to 1.9%. The gas resources from coalbed methane reservoir in Indonesia is estimated about 213 Tcf, and of 33.4 Tcf of this volume is found in Northwest Java basin area. Until this time, these coalbed methane deposit have not yet been developed or exploited commercially.

The economics and the technical aspects of the coalbed methane exploitation and its properties in Talang Akar formation are evaluated and discussed in this paper.


Coalbed Methane, a gaseous hydrocarbon produced from coal formation, is another prospective alternative for energy resource. Indonesia has an estimated coalbed methane potential of 213 Tcf in coal bearing formation spreading over 16 onshore basin. An area which is considered to have the most prospective opportunity for coalbed methane development is Northwest Java basin. The basin located in onshore and offshore of West Java province but this paper stressing on onshore of Northwest Java basin.

That basin has a comparative advantage over the coalbed methane basin of the other region for some reason, First, facilities and infrastructure are already available, since the basin has developed for oil and gas. Second, the demand for gas are quite high due to the rapid development in the nearby areas. Third, potential of coalbed methane is good to supply the gas demand. The production facility, existing well and the construction of Java pipelines trough the area and stretching along the north part of Java island to connect the gas resource to industrial as well as other gas consuming zones, will no doubt guarantee the long term market of coalbed methane gas in Northwest Java.

This paper discusses the basin analysis of coalbed methane resources as a technical calculation and economic viability of the project of coalbed methane development in Northwest Java.

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