Indonesia to offer 10 oil and gas blocks in 2023, including in South China Sea

JAKARTA, Jan 30 (Reuters): Indonesia plans to offer 10 oil and gas working areas this year, including a block in the South China Sea, amid efforts to boost energy production and make new discoveries, a senior energy ministry official said on Monday.

In 2022, Indonesia auctioned 13 oil and gas fields and has appointed contractors for six of them.

The country is aiming to reach crude oil lifting of 1 million barrels per day (bpd) and gas lifting of 12,000 million standard cubic feet per day (mmscfd) by 2030. Last year, it missed its oil and gas lifting target amid delays in projects and unexpected shutdowns.

Among the oil and gas fields Indonesia plans to offer this year are working areas in Natuna D Alpha, which are giant gas fields situated in the South China Sea, energy ministry official Tutuka Ariadji told reporters.

"Hopefully this year, in May, we would be ready to launch the offering. We also need to gauge the interest for this Natuna block before we open this to public offering," he said.

Last year, Indonesia approved development plan for US$3 billion Natuna gas field in South China Sea.

Tutuka also hoped stalled gas mega-projects such as Indonesia Deepwater Development (IDD) and Masela could soon be resumed.

Oil giant Cheveron is close to reaching a deal with an investor to transfer its stake in IDD, according to upstream oil and gas regulator SKK Migas.

Tutuka last week declined to disclose details of the discussion on IDD stake.

Meanwhile, Indonesian state oil and gas Pertamina is still negotiating with Shell to potentially take over its partnership in the Masela project. - Reuters

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