Indonesia revises gas pipeline oversight duties

Eric Watkins
Senior Correspondent

LOS ANGELES, Aug 17 -- Indonesia's Directorate General of Oil and Gas plans to assume the powers of the Oil and Gas Downstream Regulatory Agency (BPH Migas) to hold tenders for development and operation of gas pipelines.

Director General Luluk Sumiarso said the change would avoid a conflict of interest, explaining that the role of BPH Migas as an independent regulatory body would be threatened if it continues to be responsible for holding such tenders.

Luluk said the directorate was formulating a regulation for implementing the plan. "We hope that it will be issued in the near future," he said. He did not detail how conflict of interest could take place, but said the regulation would restore the power of the government to award special rights for gas-pipeline use.

Meanwhile, Luluk said tenders for development and operation of gas pipelines would continue under existing regulations until the new regulation is issued.

BPH Migas was established in 2003 by presidential decree as an independent agency to regulate the downstream oil and gas industry.

Contact Eric Watkins at hippalus@yahoo.com.

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