Indonesia appoints new head for PT Pertamina

Eric Watkins
OGJ Oil Diplomacy Editor

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 13 -- Karen Agustiawan, the newly appointed president director of Indonesia's state-run PT Pertamina, has vowed to meet government targets by boosting the firm's upstream and downstream production and delivery.

Previously Agustiawan served in various positions at Pertamina, worked for Halliburton from 2002-06, and between 1984 and 2002, for Mobil Oil Indonesia, CGG Petrosystems, and Landmark Concurrent Solusi Indonesia.

"My top priorities are to secure the distribution of fuel, LPG and biofuel," said Agustiawan, adding, "I will also closely monitor Pertamina's upstream business because it is a profit-maker for the company."

Augustiawan noted that Pertamina is targeted to produce 171,000 b/d of oil this year, up from 156,000 b/d in 2008, as well as 1,266 MMscfd of gas in 2009, up from 1,178 MMscfd in 2008.

The Indonesian government appointed Agustiawan, who most recently served as Pertamina upstream director, to replace Ari Hernanto Soemarno who had come under fire from President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono for mismanagement.

Last December, Yudhoyono criticized Pertamina executives, and Soemarno in particular. after gasoline stations around the country ran out of fuel. For Yudhoyono, who is up for reelection this year, the availability of subsidized fuel is a major election issue.

Soemarno's reputation was further eroded by a fire last month that destroyed one of the company's fuel storage depots in northern Jakarta.

In addition to Agustiawan, the government appointed Rio Tinto Indonesia CEO Omar Sjawaldy Anwar as Pertamina vice-president director, replacing veteran bureaucrat Iin Arifin Takhyan.

Indonesia's minister of state for state enterprises, Sofyan Djalil said the appointments represented "a combination of business and technical" expertise.

"Bu Karen has expertise in technical aspects of the oil and gas industry, while Pak Omar has experience in business and finance," said Djalil. "I believe they are going to make a good combination for Pertamina," Djalil said.

In addition to the top two appointments, the Indonesian government also named three new commissioners to oversee the company's management.

They are Humayon Bosa, former president director of PT Caltex Pacific Indonesia; former JPMorgan banker Gita Wiryawan. and Pertamina's former human resource director Sonny Sumarsono.

Contact Eric Watkins at hippalus@yahoo.com.

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