Wed, 09 Jul 2003

BP Migas, Lemhanas to adopt new security concept

Evi Mariani, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Oil and Gas Implementing Body (BP Migas) and the National Defense Institute (Lemhanas) have agreed in principle to adopt a new concept aimed at boosting community participation in protecting the assets of oil and gas companies operating in the country.

The new concept will be first applied at the Tangguh liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant in Papua, which is being operated by Anglo-American energy giant BP PLC.

"We will set Tangguh as the benchmark of this concept. But we will (also) introduce it nationally, to other vital companies," BP Migas Chairman Rachmat Sudibjo said on Tuesday on the sidelines of a seminar. BP Migas is the authority for the oil and gas upstream sector.

Although bearing the word "security", the concept does not mean recruiting people living around the oil and gas companies as security guards. Instead, it draws on an idea of enhancing the economic level of the community around it, so they will have a sense of belonging to their neighboring companies.

"We have recorded cases such as burglary. The stolen things like say, cables, may not be costly, but it could disrupt the operations (of oil and gas firms)," said Rachmat. "If the people have a sense of belonging to the company, they will together keep it safe."

He said that such a concept had long been implemented for community development projects, but community-based security highlighted more on security issues.

BP PLC's vice president of government and public affairs for Indonesia's office Satya W. Yudha said that for the Tangguh plant, BP PLC had been committed to employ people from the surrounding communities, so they would have a sense of belonging to Tangguh.

"According to Tangguh's Amdal (environmental impact assessment), one member of every family living in villages directly affected (by the Tangguh project) is entitled to work in Tangguh's construction project," he said.

Tangguh LNG field is located offshore in Papua's Bintuni regency, surrounded by seven villages.

"The construction of Tangguh, which will take 38 months, will be absorbed by an estimated 3,500 workers," said Satya without mentioning how many surrounding community members would be employed in the construction work.

He added that BP had also recruited 20 Papuan university graduate engineers to work at Tangguh when it begins operating in 2007.