Indonesia To Offer 7 Oil & Gas Blocks To Investors In '04

Indonesia plans to offer seven new oil and gas blocks to foreign and local investors next year, a senior government official familiar with the deal said.

"We will launch a tender in early January and expect to name the winning bidders in March," the official said. He said four of the blocks - the Nunukan, Bulungan, Ligau and Ambala Timur blocks - are located offshore of East Kalimantan province.

The remaining blocks are located onshore in several other provinces. The Lubuk Linggau block is located in South Sumatra province, Seruai block in Aceh province and Boven Digul block in Papua province.

The official didn't reveal the value of the investment the government expects from the exploration of the seven blocks.

This year, Indonesia awarded 16 oil and gas blocks to local and foreign investors.

Indonesia, the only Southeast Asian member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, currently produces around 1.1 million barrels a day of crude oil, below its OPEC quota of 1.270 million b/d.