OsloÂ (ANTARA News) – State-owned oil and gas company PT Pertamina and its Norwegian counterpart, Statoil, will establish a joint venture to explore oil in Indonesian waters, in the Makassar Strait and the southern part of Java island in particular, a Pertamina spokesman said.
“Within 100 days, we hope we can identify which projects and what kind of alliance we will undertake,” Ari H. Soemarno, president director of PT Pertamina, said in Oslo, Norway, on Wednesday local time.
Earlier, Ari and his Statoil counterpart, Helge Lund, signed an agreement on the cooperation in the presence of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg.
According to Ari, one of Pertamina`s reasons for deciding to cooperate with Statoil was the fact that the latter`s performance was ranked 50th among the world`s 500 oil companies by Fortune magazine. The company`s turnover reached US$70 billion.
Pertamina had also taken into consideration Statoil`s expertise in deep-sea explorations in particular. After the signing ceremony, the Pertamina team visited the Statoil headoffice and they studied in detail the areas where the two companies would work together. “We are already talking about concrete matters.
There are two blocs in the Makassar Strait on which we will request operation rights and where we will later cooperete with Stateoil,” he said. “Hopefully this year, we can identify the areas to be explored and next year we will begin the exploration work. We want this project to be implemented soon to increase the country`s oil and gas production,” he added.
During a meeting at the Norwegian prime minister`s office, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Prime Minister Jen Stoltenberg agreed to increase bilateral and global cooperation in such fields as energy, trade, politics, inter-civilization dialogue and reduction of the infant mortality rate.
The Indonesian delegation included Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Boediono, Coordinating Minister for Politica, Legal and Security Affairs Widodo AS, Minister of Law and Human Rights Hamid Awaludin, Minister of Marine Resourses and Fisheries Freddy Numbery.
At the meeting, Yudhoyono expressed gratitude for Norway`s humanitarian assistance to tsunami survivors in Aceh and to earthquake victims in Yogyakarta and Central Java. Having contributed US$7.6 million, Norway was the biggest donor to the efforts to rebuild Aceh.