Indonesia awards nine exploration blocks

Indonesia has awarded contracts for nine oil and natural gas blocks out of 20 blocks the government had offered to local and international oil companies.

Eric Watkins
Senior Correspondent

LOS ANGELES, Mar. 2 -- Indonesia has awarded contracts for nine oil and natural gas blocks out of 20 blocks the government had offered to local and international oil companies.

Luluk Sumiarso, director-general of oil and gas at Indonesia's Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry, said the winning companies have committed to invest some $411 million for exploration in the first 3 years of their agreements.

Sumiarso said the government will reoffer the remaining 11 blocks in April and that it hopes to offer a total of 40 blocks this year. Meanwhile, he said, the government had received signature bonuses worth $30 million from the bidding process.

The ministry said a consortium of France's Total E&P and Japan's Inpex Corp. won the offshore Sungai Mahakam oil and gas block in East Kalimantan, while a joint-venture of Premier Oil and Mitsui Oil Exploration Co. was awarded a block in the Natuna Sea.

Another JV comprised of Indonesia's Pertamina and Norway's Statoil ASA was awarded the Karama block off West Sulawesi, and Talisman Energy Inc. won the Sageri block off South Sulawesi.

Esso Exploration International was awarded the Mandar block off West Sulawesi.

Local firm PT Tiara Bumi Petroleum won the West Air Komering block onshore South Sumatra, while PT ANP Energy received the Lampung 1 block, off Lampung, on Sumatra.

PT Sigma Energy Petrogas was awarded the Enrekang block, onshore South Sulawesi, while Malaysia's M3nergy Bhd.won the Ujung Kulon block, onshore and off Banten in West Java.

Contact Eric Watkins at hippalus@yahoo.com.

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