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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs         28  June 2011

Ramba to explore more

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Ramba Energy plans to invest $25 million in exploration projects in three oil and gas blocks, including some owned by state oil and gas firm Pertamina, to help the country meet its output targets.

David Aditya Soeryadjaya, Ramba’s chief executive, said $15 million would be used for its Lemang oil field in South Sumatra.

The rest would be used for Pertamina’s oil fields — $7.5 million in West Jambi and $3 million for the Jatirarangon block in Bekasi.

Ramba said in February that it aimed to double output at Jatirarangon — which produces 70 barrels of oil per day, according to Aditya — by the end of 2011.

The oil and gas exploration firm also expects to start drilling in Lemang by August, with the block having an expected output of approximately 1,000 bpd.

Aditya said his company would spend $20 million of its own cash on the three projects, with the remainder to be financed by bank loans.

“We already have a loan commitment with one bank, but we still need several commitments to finance our project,” the chief executive said without giving any details about the lenders.

“We are also actively evaluating potential acquisitions to strengthen our current portfolio of oil and gas assets,” Aditya said, without disclosing any details.

He said extra funding may be expected in the third or fourth quarters this year.

Indonesia, currently a net oil importer, has not been able to meet its oil production targets since 1998.

The government initially set a target to produce 970,000 bpd this year but later revised it to 945,000 bpd, due in part to ageing fields and lack of investment.

However, Pertamina has lined up several projects to boost output, including the expansion of a refinery in West Java, as well as pushing for more control of foreign-operated oil and gas blocks.

Singapore-based Ramba owns a 55 percent stake in Indonesian firm Sugih Energy, which distributes heavy equipment, particularly for mining and exploration.

Ramba also holds a 25 percent share in Elnusa Tristar, which has operations in Jambi and South Sumatra oil fields.

The firm owns a subsidiary called Richland Logistic Service that provides supply-chain services such as distribution of consumer goods.


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This year in Thailand-what next?

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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.

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