Pertamina Eyes Iran Oil Block

A01853721.jpgAfter winning an oil and gas tender in Qatar recently, Indonesian state oil and gas company PT Pertamina is now setting its sights on an exploration right in Iran. “We are biding for the Laleh block,” Pertamina upstream director Sukusen Soemarinda confirmed Monday, referring to one of 17 oil and gas blocks that the Iranian government currently puts on offer.

Iran is the second largest oil producer at the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

“We have partnered with several other firms in this venture, yet we cannot disclose them,” he added.

Only recently, Pertamina had teamed up with German-based company Wintershall, a subsidiary of German chemical giant BASF, in securing an exploration right on an onshore oil block in Qatar.

Pertamina holds a 25 percent interest in the block, with Wintershall controlling the remaining 75 percent, rendering the company the operator of the block.

The commercial production of the Qatari onshore oil block is not expected to start until the end of 2008 or early 2009.

Meanwhile, in response to the global oil prices, which have been breaking records in the past few weeks, Pertamina is very likely to hike the prices of industrial fuels next month.

“It’s very likely (to increase),” president director, Ari H. Soemarno, said Monday, but refused to elaborate further.

Pertamina adjusts the prices of non-subsidized fuels it sells to industry on a monthly basis, taking into account the average prices of crude oil in international markets.

After breaching the US$90 per barrel last week, oil prices ease early Monday. New York’s key oil futures contract, light sweet crude for delivery in November, was 60 US cents lower at $88.00 a barrel in afternoon trade.

In London, Brent North Sea crude for December delivery dropped 38 US cents to $83.41 per barrel.

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