TPA to help lure foreign investors in upstream oil and gas

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesian Petroleum Association (IPA), which groups around 200 oil and gas companies

and related companies said it is ready to help the government lure investment in the upstream oil and gas industry.

"Investment in the upstream oil and gas sector must continue to be boosted that Indonesia could increase its production and reduce dependence on imports," IPA President Tumbur Parlindungan told reporters here on Thursday.

Tumbur said IPA would increase cooperation with all stakeholders to create more attractive investment climate in the upstream oil and gas sector.

"We will openly inform the related ministries as well as the President what investors think have hampered them in investing in the upstream oil and gas sector in Indonesia," the CEO of PT Saka Energi Indonesia, a subsidiary of PT PGN (Persero) said.

On the other hand the government needs to make similar approach to oil and gas companies grouped in IPA. They should not be neglected, he said.

Basically, multinational oil companies are still interested in investing in Indonesia as they know that the countrys oil and gas potentials have not been fully tapped. Indonesia still have oil deposits yet untapped, much larger than those of other countries such as Malaysia and Mexico, he said.

Indonesias crude oil production once hit the level of 1.5 million barrels per day indicating that the prospects are still good for investment in the upstream oil and gas industry in Indonesia.

"If asked whether Indonesia could increase its oil production, the answer is it could do that very much. The United States was still a net oil importer until 2009, but now it has become an oil exporter," Tumbur said .

He said some of the IPA members including multinational companies now choose to wait and restrain from embarking on large investment in explorations .

"The reason is not related to the availability of deposits, but more for the red tape in licensing. They need only to compare Indonesia with rival countries. If they think it is made difficult for them here they just move to the other countries," he said.

If what the investors called as hindrances could be removed through coordination between related agencies explorations would be brisker ahead, Tumbur said.

The government has said it was optimistic investment would grow in the upstream oil and gas sector. The Oil and Gas Special Working Unit (SKK Migas) predicted investment in the upstream oil and gas sector would reach US$11.2 billion in 2018.

Source: ANTARA News

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