Indonesia works to increase foreign energy investments

Indonesia is aiming to reverse the decline in foreign energy investments and has asked two American multinational energy corporations, Chevron Corp. and Conoco Phillips, to submit license renewal proposals for the operation of oil and gas fields in the country.

Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Ignasius Jonan asked Chevron executives last week to inform the ministry about the explorer’s plans for Indonesian operations beyond 2021, he said in an interview.

The government expects Chevron to make a proposal within this year, he said. Jonan also told Conoco executives to prepare a proposal if they wished to seek an extension for a block set to expire in 2020.

An early decision on the fate of licenses for Chevron and Conoco may help the government reassure prospective foreign investors as it wrangles with Freeport-McMoRan Inc. over renewal of its permit to operate the Grasberg copper and gold mine.

President Joko Widodo is seeking to attract investment of as much as US$200billion into Southeast Asia’s largest economy over the next decade to increase crude oil production.