President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has criticized state-owned energy company Pertamina for a lack of exploration.
In its decades of existence, Pertamina had never been involved in exploring large oil blocks, the President said.
“From the information I have, since the 1970s to date, [Pertamina] has never conducted any exploration on a large scale […] What’s up?” Jokowi said in his speech at the opening of the 42nd Indonesian Petroleum Association Convention and Exhibition in Jakarta on Wednesday.
Jokowi said he had ordered Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Ignasius Jonan to scrap complicated regulations in the oil and gas upstream industry to create a better investment climate in the sector.
Since the beginning of the year, the minister has revoked or merged more than 100 regulations, 14 of which were regulations on the upstream business.
In response to the President’s statement, Pertamina senior vice president for upstream business Deniel S. Tampubolon said the company had heeded the President’s words.
“We have explored more oil fields in Indonesia than any other operator,” Daniel said following the event.
Approximately 70 percent of exploration in Indonesia is conducted by Pertamina, he said, but admitted that the projects were considerably small in size. (bbn)