The Middle East's first publicly listed company in the oil and gas sector, Aabar Petroleum Investment Company, plans to invest US$500 million in the next three years on exploration and production work in Indonesia.
CEO David Woodward said Tuesday that the company would use the money mostly for the development of its gas block in Sebuku in the Makassar Strait, offshore East Kalimantan.
"We submitted to BPMigas (the Upstream Oil and Gas Regulatory Agency) the plan of development for Sebuku at the end of August, and clearly we are hoping for approval," Woodward told The Jakarta Post after a meeting with Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro.
Of the $500 million, he said, $140 million would be spent next year on the development of a number of its blocks, including the Mengoepeh oil block in South Sumatra.
Aabar, which operates in Indonesia through its wholly owned subsidiary Pearloil, has eight contract areas in South Sumatra, offshore East Java, offshore East Kalimantan and Papua, with four of them already at the production stage.
Woodward said the company was keen on expanding its exploration activities in Indonesia through open tender and direct-offer opportunities.
The company will consider participating in the government's next tender for the rights to 25 oil and gas blocks.
"We are certainly interested and we would like to acquire additional acreages and build up our portfolio in Indonesia," Woodward said, while declining to name any blocks.
The government is scheduled to invite bids for 25 oil and gas blocks later in September, promising incentives in the form of a better split mechanism for interested investors.
Abu Dhabi-based Aabar was established two years ago, and focuses on oil and gas exploration and production.
It also intends to pursue exploration opportunities in other parts of Southeast Asia and North Africa.
Last year, Aabar acquired 100 percent of Pearl Energy, a Singapore-based oil and gas firm engaged in the exploration, development and production of oil and gas in Southeast Asia.