July 2010



Museum Minyak & Gas Bumi Graha Widya Patra
Taman Mini Indonesia Indah

University of Indonesia – Student Chapter of American Association of Petroleum Geologists recently held the education tour entitled “History of Oil Fields in Indonesia” with Mr. Mohammad Syaiful, an explorationist and geologist from Exploration Think Tank Indonesia (ETTI). In this event, Mr. Syaiful became our instructor who gave us a lot of knowledge about petroleum system. Beside him, there is Mr. Budi Setiawan, a museum guide who help Mr. Syaiful in giving lecture.

This education tour was held on July 13th 2010 at Museum Minyak dan Gas, Taman Mini Indonesia Indah, Jakarta. There were 50 participants (consists of 48 students of Geophysics UI and 2 students of Chemical Engineering UI) who joined this event. This event started from at 10.00 am until 2.00 pm and divided into 3 sections (attending presentation and discussion, watching short film, and walking around the museum).


In this section, museum guide names Mr. Budi Setiawan giving short presentation about History of Oil Fields in Indonesia. Firstly, he presented brief explanation about oil itself, such as where usually it can be found, its various benefits, also its physical and chemical properties.

After that, he presented about its history. On the petroleum history in Indonesia, the first oil seepage was found in Malaka, at this time oil only used as lamp. Then in the empire era, oil used to be an economic exchange tool. In this era, peoples exchanged oil with silk from China. And finally, the first petroleum industry started in Telaga Tunggal I well, Pangkalan Brandan – North Sumatra in 1885. The pioneer of petroleum industry in Indonesia is Aeiko Jans Zijlker, a Netherlander.

Mr. Budi also explained about how petroleum industry works, from upstream to downstream. At this time, the atmosphere change from presentation to discussion, because Mr. Syaiful also giving some additional explanations to help participants in understanding upstream and downstream mechanism in petroleum industry.

The explanation about upstream mechanism is dominating. Started from explanation about how oil can be formed, then discussion continued to people’s reasons in doing exploration in the deep ocean or on the deep difficult ground whereas oil also can be found in the shallow ocean. And finally discussion about 3 steps for oil exploration had begun. Firstly, capturing fossils spreading using landscape map (satellite image). Secondly field geologists are needed to map its geological structure. Thirdly, geophysicists are needed to prove either there is an oil and gas or not by using geophysical methods, such as seismic, gravity, and geomagnetic.

Then discussion turns into the brief explanation about downstream mechanism, which is oil and gas production. Mr. Budi explained about the main step of production that is distillation, which is step when 5 main parts are being produced. Those products are Gas (LPG, LNG), Gasoline (Premium), Kerosene (Oil, Avtur), Solar (ADO), and Residue (Plastics, Wax, etc.).

Mr. Syaiful and Mr. Budi are also giving brief explanation about bureaucracy in petroleum industry, either in doing exploration or production, and political influences in petroleum industry.


Right after attending presentation and discussion, participants and Mr. Syaiful are lead to mini theater by another museum guide to watch short movie. This movie is an interesting illustration about what had been presented before in short and brief explanation, especially about petroleum industry development in Indonesia. In the end, this movie giving additional social message which is spurring participants for using oil and gas in effective ways and not wasting it.


In the last section, all participants are walking around the museum while listening to Mr. Syaiful explanation about all objects displayed in museum. First of all, Mr. Syaiful told us about the philosophy of museum building structure. The museum was built as platform replica, complete with artificial lake which is representing an ocean. The main building of the museum generally shows us about the development of petroleum industry in Indonesia by using a model that illustrates it.

The most interesting place in this museum for participants is the upstream area building, which is shows us about the earth’s age and structure, several kinds of rocks, technology of oil and gas exploration, petroleum system model, geological equipment, and also interesting geophysical methods simulation. There are also several kinds of platform and its mechanism. There are also some examples of the real well log data and simulation of drilling process.

Our tour continued to the lower ground of the main building, where the history and development of petroleum industry in Indonesia are shown. Starts from ancient period, when oil only used as medicine, lamp, and an amulet. Its utilizing developed day by day, including in the pre-independence day, when Indonesian people fight for oil and gas as Indonesian asset. Last but not least is development after the Independence Day. In this section, its rapid development had just begun, oil and gas field built in several region in Indonesia. In this area, there are some interesting objects to see, such as replica of gas field in Arun – Aceh and replica of several kinds of oil tanker.

There is also downstream area building, but we did not visit that area because of limited time.
Overall, this education tour is very helpful especially for the newbie of Geoscience students in understanding petroleum industry in such fun way. Unfortunately, this museum is in poor condition, most simulation model is broken, and all of the TV screen cannot play its illustration (exception for theater screen). Maybe it would be more interesting if someday some multimedia and technologies are added to this museum to support and help visitor in understanding history of oil fields in Indonesia and its development.


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