Pertamina to Begin Exploration Operations in Iraq

An official with the state oil company of Indonesia, Pertamina, said the company plans to begin oil and gas exploration in Iraq next month. The company will invest approximately $24 million in the first three years. Pertamina has an option to extend its exploration activities by another two years with a further $16 million investment if it fails to complete the work in the first three years, company President Director Baihaki Hakim told reporters.

Last year Iraq's former government awarded the Western Desert block to Pertamina. The block is estimated to have 3 million barrels of oil reserves. Pertamina had been planning to start operations in the Western Desert block in March of this year.

The Indonesian state oil company is also planning exploration activities on the Tuba Block which is estimated to hold even larger reserves than the Western Desert Block.