June 26 (UPI) -- A British oil and gas developer said Monday it was expecting its strategy to exploit natural gas reserves off the coast of Indonesia to pay off.
Empyrean Energy declared a success after preliminary results from its Mako well operation off the coast of Indonesia came in better than expected.
"While we have further work to do at Mako to determine the overall size of the potential gas accumulation, Empyrean is extremely pleased that our aggressive exploration program has kicked off with great success," CEO Tom Kelly said in a statement.
Indonesia last year became a member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, though oil production has been waning and the country's focus has largely been on natural gas. OPEC membership was suspended after the organization in late 2016 agreed to cut production in an effort to balance a market tilted toward the supply side.
An annual country profile from PricewaterhouseCoopers found that since Indonesia started to steer its gas reserves toward the domestic market in 2006, it dropped from the top exporter of liquefied natural gas to the No. 5 spot, behind Qatar, Malaysia, Australia and Nigeria.
Conrad Petroleum is the operator at the Mako field. The company estimated the offshore development could hold as much as 1.3 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in place.
OPEC economists said former member state Indonesia recorded 5 percent growth in gross domestic product during the first quarter. Exports increased 8 percent year-over-year.