Pertamina Reclaims Control of Oil Blocks Offshore East Kalimantan

State-backed Pertamina has moved one step closer towards its aim of taking back control of its petroleum assets, through an agreement inked Monday with Texas-based oil and gas company Anadarko Offshore Holding Company for the purchase of all of the latter's stakes in three subsidiaries operating in Indonesia.

In a published statement, Pertamina confirmed that it bought Anadarko Ambalat Limited, which has a 33.75 percent participating interest in the Ambalat block; Anadarko Bukat Limited, which has a 33.75 percent participating interest in the Bukat block; and Anadarko Indonesia Nunukan Company, which holds a 35 percent participating interest in the Nunukan block.

Commenting on its move, Pertamina said in the statement that the purchase will allow the company to conduct exploration activities in the prolific Bunyu and Tarakan areas, offshore East Kalimantan. Most of the country's oil production is currently being carried out in the basins of western Indonesia and the Borneo region; the bulk of Indonesia's oil reserves being located onshore and offshore of central Sumatra and East Kalimantan.

Pertamina has noticeably stepped up on its oil and gas exploration efforts this year, in line with the Indonesian government's issued mandate to increase the country's oil production volume to one million barrels of oil per day by 2014.

Malaysia could contest Pertamina's decision to purchase the Ambalat block, as the former also claims sovereignty over the sea block. One of the nine points of the Ambalat block – known also as Block ND6 by Malaysia – is estimated by Indonesia to contain around 764 million barrels of oil and approximately 1.4 trillion cubic feet of gas.



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