Aceh May Use Penang to Market Oil and Gas

GEORGE TOWN – Indonesia’s Aceh Province is considering using Penang as a base to market and distribute its oil and gas in the region. Aceh governor Irwandi Yusuf told a press conference that he would study soon the details of the plan, which would include investment in infrastructure and other supporting facilities.

“We hope to implement the business plan as soon as possible. This is the first government-to-government cooperation that Aceh is looking into.

“Other areas of cooperation that Aceh and Penang can work on include tourism and port development,” he said.

Datuk Lee Kah Choon (left) exchanging documents with Aceh Investment and Promotion Board head Anwar Muhammad. With them are Irwandi Yusuf (second from right) and Lim Guan Eng.

Irwandi said this at a briefing after signing a MoU with investPenang executive committee chairman Datuk Lee Kah Choon to promote collaborative and joint business and investment projects between Penang and Aceh.

Also present was Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, who had offered Penang as a platform for Aceh to distribute oil and gas in the region at the Penang-Aceh Business Investment Dialogue meeting held earlier in the morning.

Irwandi said Aceh currently had five oil and gas projects with Exxon Mobil.

PT ExxonMobil Oil Indonesia expects gas production of 278 million cu ft per day from Aceh field in 2010.

According to the peace treaty signed in Helsinki in 2005, Aceh is entitled to 70% of the revenue generated from oil and gas exports.

“The revenue generated from the sales of oil and gas resources will go back to Aceh. Penang will only lend Aceh its expertise in marketing and distribution of the resources,” Lim said.

He added that consent would be required from the Federal Government for Penang to be used as a base to distribute oil and gas.

“Tourism, medical and health tourism, international education, and halal industry are areas in which Penang has expertise that can be shared with Aceh,” he said.

Source: The Star Online