|Tuesday, 6 June 2006|
GLOBAL oil goliath Exxon Mobil, as well as three other foreign companies, has been awarded exploration rights for four oil and gas blocks in Indonesia.
|Drilling offshore Indonesia.|
The country's energy ministry confirmed Friday that Exxon, Canada's Husky Energy, Marathon Oil Corporation and Malaysia's Petronas had been awarded the blocks and were collectively expected to invest $US203 million on exploration within the first three years, according to Reuters.
"The four areas have potential for hydrocarbon findings, but we will only know when the investors carry out drilling in those blocks," Novian Thaib, a director at the ministry, told reporters.
Exxon Mobil won the rights to the Surumana block in Makassar Strait, while Marathon won the rights to explore Pasang Kayu.
Petronas obtained exploration rights for the offshore Lampung II block in the southern part of Sumatra, and the offshore East Bawean II block in East Java went to Husky Energy.
Last year Indonesia offered 27 new exploration areas in an effort to boost foreign investment and the country's dwindling oil production levels.
Eight exploration contracts were signed in October, with the four signed last week making a total of 12 – an additional 15 blocks are still available.
Indonesia, Asia-Pacific's only OPEC member, was a net importer of crude during the second quarter of 2005, according to Reuters.
Production from the country's oilfields has been declining at 5% annually.
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