As the month goes, Indonesia is having a big problem when the government decided to make a rule to raise the price of oil fuels, like premium, solar and pertamax, which are the main fuel of vehicles in Indonesia. the most extreme price raising is in premium, a subsidy fuel from government, increases about IDR 2000 from 4500 to 6500. It makes a big problems for peoples’s economic.
In the other side, the government has a reason in making this rule. The value of the subsidy is growing up every year, which makes a big national budgetment. in 2011, the government allocated budget about Rp 92,79 quintillion for a oil fuel subsidy and the number may be growing up due to the unstable world oil price, thus the number of subsidy reaching 100 quintillion is predicted for this year. Therefore, due to the raising of the subsidy and global warming issues, Indonesia has to convert its main energy from oil fuel into the renewable energy. The renewable energy can be alternative like CBM, or geothermal . One of them is a useful of natural gas, called shale gas. Shale gas is found in shale rock, which is being a place to form a natural gas. Shale gas is formed about 5 years. Shale gas is one of an unconventional energy which can be applied to replace and fulfill the need of energy in Indonesia because it has a big potential. Although it hasn’t dominated yet, shale gas has been used for about a years ago.
Like an oil fuel, the natural gas is one of kind of hydrocarbon molecule.it consists of some chemical element like carbon, hydrogen, sulfur, nitrogen, oxygen, and metal. natural Gas has a low boiling point, small atom number, from C1 to the highest C4, and sometimes, it has pure 100 % carbon-dioxide, which means that natural gas doesn’t have any commercial value.
The natural gas have a few contain, such as:
- Free gas ( they are in the upper side of reservoir which is filled by a petroleum)
- gas which resorvable in the petroleum (due to the temperature and pressure in the reservoir, the gas can either be a gas cap, called by saturated reservoir, or not to be a gas cap, called by unsaturated reservoir.)
- Liquid gas (a condition is in the depth of 2000 m, which has a high temperature and pressure, so that the gas and oil are physically indistinguishable.)
The main composition of natural gas is methane (CH4). Methane is a hydrocarbon’s molecule which have a shortest, lighter and relatively stable chain. In a minimum amount, it contains too by ethane (C2H6), propane (C3H8), butane (C4H10), helium, pentane (C3H12), hexane (C6H14), Hectan (C7H16), octant (C8H18) and nonan (C9H18).
Propane (C3H8) and Butane (C4H10)
(The contains of natural gas (source : wikipedia.com, 24th July, 2013)
As the biggest composition, Methane is one of a greenhouse gasses and pollutant which can make a global warming in atmosphere. Nonetheless, methane in atmosphere can associated with ozone and produced carbon-dioxide with water, so that the greenhouse effect from methane relatively just happen for a few moment. For this reason, natural gas can’t cause the global warming effect like oil fuel.
Indonesia has a big potential for a natural gas. The president of Indonesian Petroleum
Association said that Indonesian natural gas potential is about 450 T CF, and produces 8.800
mscfd (million metric standard cubic feet per day). It’s a great potential to be applied as an unconventional energy in Indonesia. in this year, he said that government will start to envolve it in order to fulfill Indonesia’s need of energy because a few years ago, the government have just sold it to foreign company, with purpose to produce a big devizen for government.
Some of gas fields in Indonesia are in Sumatra, Kalimantan, Papua, and java. One of the biggest gas field in Indonesia is in Aceh, Sumatra, Arun Gas field. It potency of gas is about 17,1 quintillion cubic feet. It produces LPG ( Liquefied Petroleum Gas), LNG (Liquefied natural Gas) and sulfur. Not just from a big field, natural gas can be produced from a decomposition by anaerobic-bacteria from an organic material except fossil. This gas is known by bio-gas.
Arun Gas Field, in Aceh. (acehtraffic.com, 24th July, 2013)
nowadays, shale or natural gas is produced for a commercial purpose. In the past time, a natural gas just can be used in a city and industry area, caused by limited pipe that connected to transport it. And now, at a present, the gas can be compressed by a liquidation technique to be a liquid called by Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) and can be transported by a tanker ship. LPG can be used mostly for cooking by the people and changing the kerosine and cord wood.
The other utilization of natural gas in Indonesia is a conversion from oil Fuel (in Bahasa familiar with Bahan Bakar Minyak) to gas fuel (in Bahasa, familiar with Bahan Bakar Gas) as a refined fuel in a mode of transportation. The advantage of gas fuel is it cannot produce a gas that can make a global warming and air pollution. Also, its price is relatively cheap. If oil fuel costs about IDR 6500 per liter, natural or shale gas just costs IDR 3100.
Gas Fuel (in bahasa familiar with BBG, Bahan Bakar Gas). (source:okezone.com, 24th July, 2013)
Some transportation in Indonesia have been applied it on their vehicle. In Jakarta, the local government sets the public transport like a bus and familiar with Trans Jakarta to applied a gas fuel. This bus does not produced a pollutant gas. But its amount is still a few, because it has a problem with the amount of the station to refill this gas (in bahasa called SPBG, Stasiun Pengisian Bahan Bakar gas). Not only bus, in Jakarta, there are Bajaj which uses the gas as it fuel. In the other country, people change their vehicle like boat, motorcycle and etc by this brand new fuel. But it needs a supporting tools to apply gas in each vehicle.
(source:http://static.inilah.com/data/foto/foto/foto20120107170041-news.jpg, 24th July, 2013)
Indonesia is still left behind from the other country in term of changing its fuel from oil to gas fuel. There are so many reason which resist it, especially about the supporting tool which has to be applied in each gas vehicle.
Well, gas fuel can be a good alternative energy to replace an oil fuel. It cannot produce a gas pollutant and relatively cheaper than others. Indonesia needs us, the next geoscientist to change a bright future with a bright energy. Gas fuel, can be one of the other unconventional energy, that can make a better environment and the people in Indonesia. Come on, explore your talent, explore your passion, to explore Indonesia and lets produce a better Indonesia with gas fuel.
- Koesoemadinata, RP. 2011. Geologi Minyak dan Gas Bumi. Bandung : Penerbit ITB