Pertamina Temporarily Stops Iraq Exploration

Pertamina has decided to stop its exploration activities in Iraq's Western Desert block temporarily, pending the transfer of power from the United States-led occupation force to Iraqi authorities. "We understand that the transfer of power will take place in June, so we will have to wait until then," Pertamina upstream director Bambang Nugroho was quoted Tuesday by the official Antara news agency as saying.

The company, represented by its subsidiary PT Elnusa, won a seismic testing tender in January and was scheduled to start drilling in March, but worsening conditions in Iraq and the planned transfer of power have caused a temporary halt in its activities.

Pertamina has opened a representative office in Baghdad to show Iraqi authorities the company is serious about doing business there.