BP eyes new Indonesia oil exploration

Muklis Ali & Sara Webb — Several oil companies, including Inpex Corp (1605.T) of Japan and BP (BP.L) are looking for new oil and gas exploration blocks in Indonesia, an official at Indonesia’s mines and energy ministry said on Wednesday.

BP Exploration Indonesia, a unit of BP, is interested in the offshore North Arafura block while Inpex wants to explore in the offshore blocks of Babar, Selaru and Yamdena in Arafuru Sea.

“Those companies have made a joint study with the government for several areas, but we haven’t decided whether we will award them or not,” the official, who declined to be quoted by name, told Reuters.

He said ConocoPhillips (COP.N) and Talisman Energy Inc (TLM.TO) are also interested in new Indonesian blocks.

ConocoPhillips is interested in exploring in offshore Arafura Sea II while Talisman Energy is looking at offshore North Semai in Papua.

Indonesia has offered new exploration rights and has said it will offer new incentives to oil and gas investors, including more favourable tax treatment and production split, in order to encourage exploration and stem a steady decline in production. But industry players have said the incentives are not enough.

Indonesia produced 821,600 barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil in March, down from 824,100 bpd in February. The country’s condensate output rose to 140,000 bpd in March from 135,000 bpd in February.

Source: Reuters UK

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