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US firms awarded exploration rights on 22 blocks in Indonesia

 
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October 18, 2008

US firms awarded exploration rights on 22 blocks in Indonesia
Indonesia has awarded oil and gas exploration rights on 22 blocks to energy companies including Chevron Indonesiam, a unit of US oil major Chevron and Conoco Phillips, Reuters quoted a senior mines and energy ministry official as saying Friday.

Indonesia has turned into a net importer of crude oil in recent years as it failed to tap new fields fast enough to replace declining production from aging wells. It has been offering new exploration rights and financial incentives for exploration in a bid to stem its steady production decline.

Evita Legowo, a director general at the ministry, said the government has awarded offshore and onshore West Papua I and West Papua III oil and gas blocks to Chevron Indonesia.

She said Indonesia has also awarded exploration rights to ConocoPhillips for the offshore Arafura Sea block in the Mollucas.

"The prospect for findings hydrocarbons are still good in Indonesia, but we have to see the exploration acitivities first before determine the findings," Legowo told reporters.

She said total investment for these blocks could reach around $308 million for the first 3 years.

Indonesia also awarded exploration rights to offshore North Sumbawa II oil and gas block, in Nusatenggara, to Husky Energy Inc.

A consortium of Marathon Indonesia, a unit of Marathon Oil Corp and Kaizan Oil, were awarded exploration rights in offshore and onshore Bone Bay block in Sulawesi.

The government has also awarded rights for 17 other oil and gas blocks scattered in the archipelago to some local firms and unknown companies in the energy sector.

Indonesia produced 862,200 barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil in September, down slightly from 862,600 bpd in August.

The country's condensate output was 122,000 bpd in September down from 125,000 bpd in August.

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