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NEW UPDATES Asean Affairs 4 September 2015  

Govt to bring up more blocks for tender next year

Indonesia:The government will bring up for tender a total of 21 oil-and-gas blocks in different areas across the country next year as part of efforts to boost output and secure future energy supply.

The blocks to be offered up for open tender include existing oil-and gas fields, shale gas blocks and coal bed methane (CBM) blocks.

“The number of [oil and gas] working areas on offer has been declining from year to year. We expect that the number [of areas] will increase next year as a result of breakthroughs by the exploration team,” said IGN Wiratmaja Puja, director general for oil and gas at the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry during a hearing at the House of Representatives on Tuesday.

He said 13 of those blocks on offer would be conventional oil and gas blocks and eight of them would be offered up through a regular tender. These included the SE Mandar, Tomini Bay I, Tomini Bay II, Tomini Bay III, Tomini Bay IV, Gorontalo Tomini I, West Misool and Merauke blocks.

The other five conventional blocks, Batu Gajah Dua, Bukit Barat, West Bengara, West Kendilo and Ebuny, would be offered up under joint study schemes.

In addition, the government will also offer up three shale gas blocks for tender: the Jambi, Central and East Sumatra and Central and Southeast Sumatera blocks.

Meanwhile, the five CBM blocks will include the Raja, Southern Sumatra, Bunga Mas, West Air Komering and South Bengara areas.

The ministry has set up an exploration team headed by geologist Andang Bachtiar to find oil and gas potential in the country.

Indonesia, which is seeking to re-activate its membership in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), has been struggling to cope with declining oil output in recent years as a result of depleted wells.

The decline in production has forced the country to import large amounts of crude oil and petroleum products to meet domestic energy demand, which continues to expand alongside the nation’s economic growth.

As many as 11 conventional and unconventional blocks are to be offered up this year.

“We will look for companies with big capital and the ability to take risks,” Wiratmaja said.

Most of existing blocks are located in the western part of the country. As these blocks have been depleted over the years, exploration has moved to the eastern part of Indonesia, which presents a more challenging environment due to its topography and poor supporting infrastructure.

The country’s frontier areas, particularly in deepwater locations, are estimated to hold significant reserves and resources.

Given the challenges, coupled with prolonged bureaucratic processes, a number of companies have abandoned exploratory activities in Indonesia. The Upstream Oil and Gas Regulatory Task Force (SKKMigas) has been trying to contact 15 oil and gas companies that were granted exploration rights but have as yet failed to undertake any exploratory activity.

SKKMigas deputy chief Zikrullah said out of the 15 companies, as many as seven firms had reported to the task force after they were summoned twice through local newspapers.

“We still need to follow up for the remaining eight companies that have as yet given us no reply,” Zikrullah said.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More






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