Government to Develop Simeulue Oil and Gas Blocks

The government will develop possible oil and gas reserve in the regency of Simeulue, off the coast of western Aceh.

A geology survey earlier once found indications of oil and gas reserves in that area.

Business management specialist of the Upstream Oil and Gas Regulator (SKK Migas) Azhari Idris said the central government has the plan and it would be the duty of the Aceh Oil and Gas Management Agency (BPMA) to carry out the long term program.

“The energy and mineral resources ministry will be in charge of long term program , but it would depend on the BPMA to bring in investors to carry out surveys and drilling. Hopefully, it would come to reality,” Azhari said here on Wednesday.

Azhari said so far no oil block has been developed in the southwestern region of Aceh, therefore, BPMA is expected to work harder to look for investors to carry out surveys in that region.

He said after Exxon Mobil Oil Indonesia ended its contract in Aceh in 2018, the government will no longer extend the contract, instead, the government would hand over the job to state-owned oil and gas company PT Pertamina.

“In fact, Exxon Mobil has no more activity in Aceh, as the operation of its oil and gas field in Aceh has been taken over by Pertamina. Currently, in Aceh there are 11 oil and gas blocks and there are also new discoveries to be developed by BPMA,” he said.

He said as for human resources needed to develop the blocks, Aceh already has many experienced and trained oil workers.

He said the energy and mineral resources minister would soon announce the name of the official to be the head of BPMA that is expected to determine the future of oil and gas industry in Aceh.

“Yes, hopefully in the next few days the minister will announce the name and install the head of the agency,” he said.