There is no wasting time here in Indonesia. We landed in Jakarta, and weâ€™re on the road again one day later! First Jakarta, Merak by car, Balikpapan by plane, Samarinda by SUV, then back to Jakarta. Let me tell you, we have seen oil storage operations, mining operations, Indonesian traffic, Indonesian off-road traffic, protests with thousands of scooters, floods, and pineapples. Any more adventure and it would have been enough for a feature length movie!
Security is intense. Bomb checks for cars, security scanners for people, and even fingerprint access to our office. But, people were very friendly and welcoming, and that definitely puts you at ease. First day was in the office. Meet Robert, meet the team, meet the office, and meet the Indonesian 3-in-1 coffee mix that was way too sweet for my tastes. I need to find that Kopi Luwak. And we did. Sort of.
Itâ€™s a chain and with a name like Kopi Luwak, it smells tourist trap. However, we had it, and in fact, Iâ€™m there again a few days later writing this entry. Itâ€™s good, but not the best. Why? Because first, it comes in a package. Bad sign #1. Second, itâ€™s a simple â€śpour hot water and mixâ€ť procedure. Bad sign #2. But it had good aroma and there was free wifi. Itâ€™ll do for now but I aim for better.
More on the office life. It was interesting to see the live â€śtrading floorâ€ť on day one, and by that, I mean an office full of employees frantically yelling out oil numbers while on the phone, and someone chalking up the results. This was what they did in the office, and we were going to go see what happens behind the scenes, on the ground.
Welcome to our gas and oil storage facility. Here are the necessary precautions you need to take. <30 min. presentation> And here are the safety gear you need to wear. <Put on shoes that were way too small for foreigners> Letâ€™s go!
Note that no cameras are allowed, and yet I still managed to get you these awesome photos. How great is that?
There are over a dozen storage tanks in the site and they hold different things: diesel, gasoline, and chemicals. There are automated measuring of tank levels, cooling facilities, fueling stations, oil separators, and emergency situation equipment. Then thereâ€™s the jetty.
The jetty is a structure built beside the ocean for tankers to dock and upload their tank contents. From the jetty, the fuel or whatever gets delivered to the storage tanks via really long pipes. Afterwards, there is a plunger-like object that gets pressure-pushed through the pipes to clean out the remnants. This was one impressive jetty. Just look at the view! Great lunch spot (but no alcohol allowed).
Our day was cut short due to protests and major traffic jams. Supposedly, it was a protest against the planned removal of the fuel subsidy. There were thousands of scooters lined up and while we were going the other direction, it was not pretty where we were heading too. Thus, we missed out on seeing a chicken farm, a Pro Energi customer, but despite that, we learned a great deal about the storage tank operations. The operators and site managers were extremely informative, a great resource for our work.
Next post, floods, mines, and pineapples in the trip to Balikpapan and Samarinda!