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NW TUNU 3D Seismic Acquisition Project, The Biggest Survey on the Transition Zone

The 3D seismic survey project at the Northwest Tunu field is the biggest that TotalEnergies has ever conducted on the transition zone. The seismic survey covers the land, transition zone, and offshore, all in one single package.


Massive Undertaking in a Challenging Environment

From 2000, the production level in Tunu reached its plateau and within two to three years, and then it began to decline. In order to maintain the production level, Total E&P Indonesie (TEPI) is attempting to discover extra reserves in the area by conducting a 3D seismic survey. This step is being taken because the previous 2D survey was considered insufficient for its limited length and number of sensors. A 3D survey will be able to provide better digital images of the subsurface. It would also give more complete information on the gas spread at shallow reservoirs in the Tunu Shallow Zone (TSZ).

However, a 3D seismic survey is a massive undertaking. “Due to its unique nature, conducting a 3D survey in a shallow zone requires specific and often specially designed vehicles and equipment that is different from that used in offshore and onshore surveys,” says Aa of Operations & Processing - Geophysics East Kalimantan District (EKD).

To cover an area of 588 square kilometers, the project employs 1,400 workers working around the clock. It will take 18 months of acquisition and 10 months of mobilization, and a total budget of $80 million to complete. These numbers highlight the measured effort and investment that TEPI makes in fulfilling its commitment to provide better quality energy in Indonesia.

Working Together with Locals to Conserve the Environment

The Mahakam area is rich in biodiversity. In addition to its vast mangrove forests, Mahakam is home to endangered and protected animals such as the river dolphin and long-nosed monkey. “We have experts on standby 24 hours a day to determine whether the work we are doing will not harm these animals, especially the dolphins,” says Saleh of Sustainable Development & Societal Relations Division.

Such measures demonstrate that TotalEnergies' commitment to providing better energy is as strong as its commitment to conserving the environment. National and local regulations are complied with and mitigation steps are taken to prevent any damage to the environment. The project also carries out a number of CSR programs, such as infrastructure development. It also engages local villagers to work on the project.

“We recruit local villagers to perform jobs such as building and dismantling the bridge,” Saleh continues. “We want to make sure that after the project is done, it leaves no waste behind, not even a single nail.” 

Such local support is proven beneficial for both sides. Local villagers learn how to conserve their environment, while the project benefits from the work they’ve done.

HSE Compliance

Compliance with health, safety and environment (HSE) and the Golden Rule is also strictly enforced. The total amount of working hours until the survey is finished is 8.35 million. More than 7.5 million of those working hours have been accomplished without any significant incident and zero fatalities. For its remarkable HSE achievements in Northwest Tunu 3D seismic survey, Total E&P Indonesie received the Group Safety Award in 2015.

Today, the development of the Tunu Shallow Zone is contributing 30% to the Tunu field’s entire production. But with the contribution from the Northwest TSZ, the number is expected to rise.




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