Indonesia's Energy Regulator: Total Relinquish Papua Exploration Block


JAKARTA, Feb 3 (Reuters) - French energy company Total has relinquished its South West Bird's Head exploration block in Papua, an official at Indonesia's energy regulator told Reuters on Tuesday, without giving a reason.

Total informed Indonesia that it was to relinquish the block on Jan. 20 with immediate effect, Zikrullah, acting deputy of commerce at regulator SKKMigas told Reuters via a text message.

A spokesman for Total E&P Indonesie was not immediately available for comment.

Late last month, UK-listed energy giant BP decided to relinquish two exploration blocks in Indonesia as the industry looks to reduce costs after global oil prices slumped.

Indonesia is pushing Total to help state energy company Pertamina expand on the global stage, in return for partnership in the Mahakam gas block after the French firm's operating contract expires in 2017.

(Reporting by Wilda Asmarini; writing by Michael Taylor; Editing by Kim Coghill)


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