PARIS, Nov. 7 (UPI) -- French energy company Total announced it started production at a gas project in shallow water off the Indonesian coast two months ahead of schedule.
Total said it started production at the South Makaham gas condensate project, meant to offset production decline elsewhere in the region.
Total said it envisions developing a total of five different gas regions within the project, located about 30 miles off the coast of Indonesia in 170 feet of water. Production by the end of next year should reach 69,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day, including 18,000 barrels per day of condensates.
Elsewhere, the company announced it landed a $190 million deal with Central Petroleum, an Australian company, to develop four permit areas in the South Georgina shale basin in central Australia.
In June, Norwegian energy company Statoil said it farmed into four existing permits for the development of the South Georgina basin with Toronto-listed exploration company PetroFrontier Corp.
The Australian government says shale natural gas resources are estimated at around 400 trillion cubic feet. The country is the No. 4 liquefied natural gas exporter in the world.
Central Petroleum Chief Executive Officer Richard Cottee told Bloomberg News the South Georgina basin was "considered to be highly prospective."