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Indonesia to open 43 new areas for oil and gas exploration JAKARTA - Indonesia will open 43 new areas for oil and gas exploration in 2005 in a bid to shore up declining oil reserves and output, an official at the mines and energy ministry told Reuters. Asia-Pacific’s only OPEC member became a net oil importer last year due to production problems at ageing wells, but officials insist Indonesia should be able to restore its net exporter status in the longer term.

“We will offer 10 working areas for regular tender and 10 areas for direct offer, for which the terms and conditions will be announced in May,” Novian Thaib, exploration director at the ministry, told Reuters in an interview. “We will also offer 10 areas for regular tender and 13 working areas for direct offer that will be officially announced in July,” he said. These would include offshore areas in the Natuna Sea, Lampung (southern Sumatra), North East Java, East Kalimantan, and the Makassar Straits, he said.
The other areas are onshore North Sumatra, South Sumatra and West Java. Thaib said none of the areas to be offered included those being disputed by Indonesia and Malaysia. Both countries claim sovereignty over the Ambalat region in the Sulawesi Sea, near the Sipadan and Ligitan islands off Borneo island, where Malaysia has granted Royal Dutch Shell exploration rights, while Jakarta awarded an acreage to Unocal Corp.
Asked about the production split between the government and investors for the new areas, Thaib said it would be almost the same as in 2004. Jakarta raised the oil production split going to investors to between 20 and 35 percent and the gas split to between 35 and 40 percent last year. Incentives: “The government is still studying the terms and conditions for these new areas, including the split. However, the split will likely be the same as those given in 2004. It depends on the location,” Thaib said. He said the government expected to issue new incentives for marginal and old fields next month, adding these might include investment credits.
“We encourage companies to increase production from both marginal and old fields... when the oil price is at a high level,” Thaib said. Kardaya Warnika, incoming head of oil and gas watchdog BPMIGAS, had said there were 30-50 marginal fields that could produce a total of 50,000 barrels per day (bpd) of oil. There are about 20-30 ageing oilfields that could produce more through technology, he said, adding that these fields could together produce around 100,000 bpd. Mines and Energy Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro had said proven and probable oil reserves in Indonesia were at 10.82 billion barrels.
Indonesia has estimated crude oil production would fall 6 percent in 2005, from last year’s 968,200 bpd, due to ageing fields and a lack of fresh funds being spent. Foreign and private oil firms have often urged the government to improve Indonesia’s oil and gas investment climate. Companies operating in the country include Caltex Pacific Indonesia, top Chinese offshore oil and gas producer CNOOC, and Medco Energi Internasional Tbk. Indonesia aims to raise crude oil production by around 25 percent to 1.182 million bpd by 2008.



Posted in Economy @ 10 April 2005 00:01 CET by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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