Indonesia Awards 22 Oil, Gas Blocks to Boost Exploration, Output

Fields of Indonesia
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JAKARTA (Dow Jones Newswires), October 17, 2008

The Indonesian government Friday awarded 22 new oil and gas blocks to investors, out of the 25 it offered for bids, the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources said.

The government awarded the Arafura Sea Block to ConocoPhillips, the offshore West Papua I and III blocks to Chevron Corp., and the offshore North Sumbawa II block to Husky Energy Inc.

Malaysia's Ranhill Energy Sdn. Bhd. won the onshore South CPP block while a consortium of India's Gujarat State Petroleum Corp. and Essar E&P Ltd. was awarded the Southeast Tungkal Block.

A consortium of Australia's Pearl Energy and Australian Worldwide Exploration Ltd. won the East Muriah block, and China's Sinochem Petroleum E&P, won the Madura Block.

The government awarded the remaining blocks to lesser-known investors.

The investors who won the new blocks plan to invest a total of $330 million during the first three years of exploration, the ministry said.

The government Friday also opened a tender for 31 new oil and gas blocks, which are expected to boost the country's sagging oil and gas output.

Indonesia, the only Asian member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, has become a net oil importer and is pulling out of the bloc at the end of this year.

The country produced 862,200 barrels of crude oil per day in September.

Copyright (c) 2008 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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