Indonesia's Pertamina Replaces 'Problematic People' Amid Graft Pro

Reuters

JAKARTA, Nov 25 (Reuters) – Indonesia's Pertamina has replaced "the problematic people" at its oil trading unit, the energy minister said on Wednesday, as the state oil and gas company looks to restore its image amid a corruption investigation.

The country's anti-graft agency, the Corruption Eradication Commission, has launched a preliminary investigation into Pertamina's trading arm, Petral, after an independent audit earlier this month revealed clear signs of fraud.

The administration of President Joko Widodo hopes a cleanup of Indonesia's oil and gas sector will improve investment in Southeast Asia's biggest crude producer after a series of scandals.

"Pertamina must clean it up and they have already done a lot. Problematic people have been replaced," Energy Minister Sudirman Said told reporters.

Pertamina, which is in the process of dismantling Petral, suspended four of the unit's employees this week for alleged misconduct, CEO Dwi Soetjipto said on Monday, without providing any names.

A spokesman for the Petral unit could not immediately be reached for comment. At the time that the disbanding of Petral was announced in May, Petral officials denied any wrongdoing.

Petral, which until this year had assets of $2 billion, held a near monopoly on the trading of crude and oil products in and out of the country, keeping Indonesia supplied with about a third of its daily oil needs.

"The aim of the Petral audit was an internal clean-up and if there are indications of violations they must be punished," Said said.

The Petral audit - conducted by Australian forensic specialist KordaMentha - showed intervention by third parties resulted in Pertamina paying higher prices for fuel and crude imports, CEO Soetjipto said earlier this month, without naming any specific countries or companies.

The audit's results will be presented to parliament next week.

Pertamina's new vehicle for oil purchasing, the Integrated Supply Chain, has yielded more competitive pricing, with efficiency savings of $103 million at the end of the third quarter, the company has said.

(Additional reporting by Wilda Asmarini and Agustinus Beo Da Costa; Writing by Randy Fabi; Editing by Tom Hogue)

Copyright 2016 Thomson Reuters. Click for Restrictions.

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Generated by readers, the comments included herein do not reflect the views and opinions of Rigzone. All comments are subject to editorial review. Off-topic, inappropriate or insulting comments will be removed.
RG | Nov. 25, 2015
Like to commend Prez Joko to lead the clean up of more than 50 years of waste so that revenues could be put to better use for its citizens, infrastructure, health and life care, etc. But lets face it, one or 2 terms in office will not suffice what has been in place for more than 50 years of waste and corruption. On the other hand, the business culture in Asia thrives on favors and assistance of any form. This is what the western world do not comprehend. Asian are borne traders. Accept local culture as is!


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