Category Archives: International

Indonesia awards BP new exploration contracts

The Indonesian government has awarded BP two oil and gas production sharing contracts (PSCs) for 100 percent interest in the offshore West Aru I and II PSCs in the Arafura Sea, Indonesia.

"In the past two years BP has deepened its position in Indonesia through access to four coalbed methane PSCs in Kalimantan and three conventional gas blocks in Papua," said William Lin, BP's Regional President for Asia Pacific. "These two new blocks are strong additions to this portfolio and will benefit from BP's expertise in deepwater exploration.

"We appreciate the continued support and confidence of the Government of Indonesia," he said.

The West Aru I and II PSCs are located approximately 500 kilometres southwest of the BP-operated North Arafura PSC and 200 km west of the Aru island group, in the Maluku province of Indonesia.

The West Aru I PSC covers an area of approximately 8,100 square kilometres and the West Aru II PSC covers an area of approximately 8,300 square kilometres.

The two blocks have water depths ranging between 200 metres and 2,500 metres. BP expects to commence seismic operations in these blocks in the near future.

ENI WINS NEW EXPLORATION CONTRACTS IN INDONESIA

ENI Indonesia has won two new inshore and offshore production-sharing exploration contracts in eastern Indonesia.
In Papua West Province (Eastern Indonesia), Eni won the complete contract for Arguni (5386 square km), in the onshore and offshore Bintuni basin. The block is located 10 km east of the Tangguh LNG plant. The work programme includes 2D and 3D seismic surveys and the drilling of two wells in the first three years of exploration.
In the eastern offshore of Kalimantan province, in the Kutei Basin, ENI, as part of a consortium with Niko Resources (North Ganal) Ltd, North Ganal Energy Ltd (a wholly owned subsidiary of Black Platinum Energy Ltd), Statoil Indonesia North Ganal AS and GDF SUEZ, has won the North Ganal contract block (2432 square kilometres), of which Eni will be the operator. The North Ganal Block is adjacent to the discoveries at Jangkrik and Jangkrik North East. The North Ganal agreement involves drilling a well and the performance of 200 km of 2D seismic surveys in the first three years of exploration. The Bontang LNG plant is located about 80 km west of the North Ganal area. As operator of the Muara Bakau contract, ENI presented a development plan for the Jangkrik field to the Indonesian authorities. This should be operational in 2015, thanks to a rapid development plan. GDF SUEZ is ENI's partner in the joint venture. . .

40% of foreign workers in Taiwan from Indonesia

Indonesians make up the majority of foreign workers in Taiwan — up to 40 per cent of the record number of 420,0931 people reported last month — the Council of labour Affairs (CLA) said Sunday.

The high of 172,000 Indonesians working in Taiwan is followed by the Vietnamese, at 93,000; Filipinos come in at number three with 82,000 foreign hires while Thai workers round up to 72,000.

Whereas Filipinos and Thais used to dominate Taiwan's foreign worker market in earlier years, the CLA said several factors had influenced the shift in worker nationality. The rapidly aging Taiwanese population saw the number of foreign hires working in social services as nursing personnel increase in tandem. The result is an influx of Indonesian and Vietnamese workers, who appear to specialise in the social service sector.

Indonesian workers are largely represented in both nursing and manufacturing services, causing the collective number of emigrant workers from Indonesia to soar to the top; of the 194,000 total foreign hires as nursing personnel, an overwhelming 75 per cent (14,4000 people) come from Indonesia.

The CLA said the decline of foreign workers from Thailand can be traced to the country's rapid economic growth, which in recent years created many jobs domestically and diminished the need for Thais to seek employment overseas.

China rebuffs US pressure

China pushed back yesterday against a week of US pressure to resolve a rancorous dispute over territorial claims in the South China Sea, a crucial, mineral-rich commercial shipping lane at the heart of growing tensions among Asian leaders.
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao chastised President Barack Obama for raising the issue during an Asia-Pacific leaders summit, hours after Obama told Wen the US wants the sea lanes kept open and peaceful, capping two weeks of Sino-US tensions.
Vietnam, the Philippines, Taiwan, Malaysia and Brunei all have claims to parts of the sea lanes, while China claims large parts of the region, which might hold rich deposits of oil and gas.
Obama ended a nine-day trip with a meeting with Wen where, according to US officials, he raised US concerns over festering economic issues such as China’s currency policy, after huddling with Asian leaders in a concerted effort to court the world’s fastest-growing region.
US lawmakers have long argued Beijing keeps the value of the yuan down to help drive the country’s exports engine, a stance they say costs American jobs.
Wen defended Beijing’s currency stance, stressing that from late September to early November, offshore foreign exchange markets showed “expectations of a depreciation in the renminbi exchange rate” and that China will also strengthen the renminbi’s trading flexibility in either direction, without elaborating.
But it was Obama’s comments on the South China Sea, a possible flashpoint in Asia, that drew Beijing’s ire.
Wen said the South China Sea issue should be resolved directly among related sovereign countries “through friendly consultation and negotiation”, state-owned news agency Xinhua reported, a comment that suggests US exclusion from the dispute.
He added that the East Asia Summit on the Indonesian island of Bali, where Obama met with 17 Asia-Pacific leaders in three days of talks, was not “a proper occasion” to discuss the issue.
Still, a briefing by a US official said 16 leaders present at the summit addressed maritime security. Indeed, the bulk of the discussions were a “very robust” conversation on maritime security and the South China Sea, the official said.
“The Chinese will come away from the meeting believing that a heavy-handed approach on the south china sea will backfire badly,” said the official.
But Xinhua, in an English language commentary, warned that “any attempt by outside forces to internationalise the issue will only make it more complicated and undermine peace and stability in the region”, in a veiled reference to the US.
Tensions flared earlier this year with often tense maritime stand-offs in the sea that carries some $5tn a year in world trade. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton earlier this week warned claimants against using intimidation to back their claims, an indirect reference to China.
An Australian think tank warned in June that risk-taking behaviour of the Chinese military, the resource needs of the fast-growing economy and its greater assertiveness raised tensions and could spark a conflict that could draw in the US and other powers.
China wants to hold bilateral talks with other countries that claim parts of the South China Sea as their territory, but the Southeast Asian claimants, the US and Japan are pushing for a multilateral approach.
The US had been “quite direct with the Chinese about our strategy”, said Tom Donilon, Obama’s top national security adviser.
Beijing understood that Washington was serious about sustaining a more active presence in the region to help its stability and peace, he said.
“Our partners and allies look to us for that reassurance. They want to know that the US is going to play the role it has played with respect to security and reassurance and balancing and stability here,” he said.
Still, he said Washington was pursuing deep engagement with China to manage a range of US-Chinese issues.
“We have a very complicated and quite substantial relationship with China across the board,” he said, adding that while the US does have “economic issues” with Beijing, “our relationship with China has in the main been productive and constructive”.
The summit capped two weeks of a hard diplomatic push by Obama to reassert America’s footprint in the Asia Pacific, which will fuel China’s fear of being encircled, or contained by the US and its allies.
However, Obama on Thursday acknowledged China’s unease, pledging to seek greater co-operation with Beijing. And Clinton told America’s ABC television: “It’s not about countering anybody else’s power. It’s about asserting our own position as a Pacific power.”

Indonesia Not in A Hurry to Join Obama’s Trans Pacific Partnership: SBY

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said Indonesia would not as yet join the Trans Pacific Partnership free trade cooperation (TPP) scheme initiated by the US.

"If I were asked about Indonesia’s position, I will say we choose not to be in a hurry to join the TPP," he said at a press conference at the end of the 19th ASEAN Summit and the 6th East Asia Summit here on Saturday.

He said the TPP issue was discussed intensively at recent world meetings such as the APEC Summit in Honolulu and the G-20 meeting in France but not at the ASEAN Summit, the ASEAN Plus Summit and the East Asia Summit here in Bali.

He stated the TPP actually was not binding on ASEAN members. "ASEAN as an entity can indeed cooperate with non-ASEAN countries in the Pacific region. But Indonesia still needs to study the TPP scheme and weigh carefully whether joining it will benefit our real sector," he said.

US President Barack Obama at the APEC Summit in Honolulu on Nov 11 formally called on countries in the region to join the TPP. The TPP was initiated by nine countries, four of which are members of ASEAN, namely Brunei Darussalam, Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam.

President Yudhoyono said before joining any international cooperation scheme, Indonesia always must see if it would benefit trade, investment and employment. "If it has done all that and concluded it will bring benefit, we will say ’okay, we will join TPP’."

Trade Minister Gita Wirjawan had earlier also said that Indonesia would not join TPP yet because it was not yet ready and it would take time before it would do so. So far Indonesia has not yet been able to measure if the TPP would benefit Indonesia.

In principle Gita said Indonesia had already taken a stand and voiced it although the call was made by a big country. He said achieving a certain degree of competitiveness would take quite a long time because Indonesia was not like advanced countries that had started industrializing 200 years ago.

The chairman of the Indonesian Employers Association, Sofjan Wanandi, had said Indonesia still needed a ’lot of homework’ before it could decide whether or not it would join the TPP.

"We must first eliminate all of our domestic economic obstacles before we can open our market completely. If Indonesia was not yet ready for TPP, it should not join although it was proposed by the US."

President Yudhoyono receives UN award

Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on behalf of Indonesian people received "Global Champion of Disaster Risk Reduction" award from the United Nations on Saturday.

"On behalf of Indonesian people, I am very honored to receive this award," President Yudhoyono said when the award was presented to him by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon in a ceremony at Bali International Convention Center (BICC) in Nusa Dua, Bali.

The Indonesian head of state said the Global Champion of Disaster Risk Reduction award was as a recognition of the determination and hard work of all Indonesians in responding to the challenges of natural disasters.

According to the president, Indonesia was the most vulnerable country to natural disasters, and therefore coping with disasters has become deeply implanted in the national mindset.

After receiving the award from the UN chief, President Yudhoyono asserted that Indonesia would continually strive to minimize the impact of any disaster.

The president expressed hope that Indonesia would continue to do its best and to develop cooperation with the United Nations.

In the ceremony, attended by among others Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Djoko Suyanto, Coordinating Minister for People`s Welfare Agung Laksono, and Coordinating Minister for Economy Hatta Rajasa, Ban Ki-Moon said President Yudhoyono deserved the Global Champion of Disaster Risk Reduction award because of his outstanding leadership.

Regionally, Indonesia has spearheaded various initiatives for disaster preparedness, such as joint regional exercises and adopting early warning system.

In Southeast Asia, ASEAN strive to attain common vision of disaster resilient nations by 2015.

At the global level, through the United Nations, Indonesia has fostered greater coordination and cooperation in disaster management.

The award should have been presented to President Yudhoyono in the Global Platform for Disaster Reduction in Geneva, Switzerland, on May 10, 2011, but the head of state was absent and represented by National Agency for Disaster Management (BNPB) Chief Syamsul Maarif.

Chinese premier makes four-point proposal on ASEAN Plus Three cooperation

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao put forward a four-point proposal Friday on ASEAN Plus Three (10+3) cooperation.

Speaking at the 14th ASEAN Plus Three Summit, Wen lauded the important role of 10+3 cooperation in successfully navigating the international financial crisis, maintaining fairly fast economic growth and financial stability and deepening economic integration in East Asia.

However, East Asian countries, to varying degrees, faced the arduous task of adjusting economic structures, improving people's lives and enhancing the capacity for sustainable development, he said.

In order to enhance cohesion, increase internal growth momentum and deepen cooperation to improve the ability to defuse risks and raise the economic competitiveness of the region, Wen proposed taking the following steps:

First, the 10+3 should accelerate trade liberalization and facilitation in East Asia, he said.

China was ready to accelerate the process of building the East Asia Free Trade Area and the Comprehensive Economic Partnership for East Asia in a pragmatic way and looked forward to the support of all parties in this endeavor, Wen said.

Second, the 10+3 needed to raise financial and monetary cooperation to a higher level.

"We should make the Chiang Mai Initiative Multilateralization more effective and expand its function from crisis rescue to crisis prevention," the Chinese premier said.

The 10+3 should actively promote the building of the Asian Bond Market, facilitate the issuance of local currency-denominated bonds and carry out more research on new areas, such as settlement of regional trade in local currencies, he said.

His third proposal was to increase input in East Asia connectivity to lay the foundation for East Asia integration.

As his fourth point, Wen urged the 10+3 countries to shift the growth model and promote sustainable development in East Asia.

The 10+3 process should enhance cooperation in science and technology, new energy, energy conservation and environmental protection, food security and health, he said.

East Asian cooperation was "at a crucial stage," and it was in the interest of all the 10+3 countries to "uphold ASEAN's centrality, pursue the goal of development, mutual benefit and win-win outcomes and continue to promote East Asian integration with 10+3 as the main vehicle", Wen said.

Other 10+3 state leaders present at the summit were of the opinion the grouping had weathered the tests of the international financial crisis, demonstrating its enormous vitality as well as a broad prospect for its future development.

They voiced the belief the 10+3 countries would boost practical cooperation, implement the consensus they had reached, improve their ability to defuse risks and promote sustainable development so as to benefit all peoples in the region.

Lion air makes largest ever order from Boeing

The United States has announced a massive order for Boeing jets from Indonesia's largest domestic airline, Lion Air, to be showcased as US President Barack Obama winds up an Asia-Pacific tour.
The sale of 230 short-haul 737 jets, worth $US21.7 billion at list prices, is the largest commercial order in Boeing's history, toppling a previous record set just days ago as the industry taps in to relentless demand in emerging economies.
The order is also a boost for Boeing's efforts to develop a revamped version of its best-selling 737 to compete with a model produced by its European rival Airbus.

The deal from Lion Air, Indonesia's largest private carrier, included orders for 29 Next-Generation 737-900 extended range planes and 201 of Boeing's new 737 MAX, an updated version of its best-selling model.
The company said the 201 orders for the 737 MAX were included in previously announced commitments for 700 of the planes, which are due to enter service in 2017 equipped with fuel-efficient engines.

The Lion Air deal includes options for another 150 aircraft valued at $US14 billion, bringing the potential total value to $US35 billion, although big plane orders tend to come with significant discounts.
Boeing said the Lion Air order, when finalized, would be its largest ever "by both dollar volume and total number of airplanes."
The plane maker said strong customer demand was driving its plans to raise production over the next three years. "As a result of that increase, we will definitely be adding many more jobs," Boeing spokesman Doug Alder Jr. said without giving a specific figure.


Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/business/world-business/boeing-secures-largest-ever-commercial-order-20111118-1nlxu.html#ixzz1e0m42Avy

SBY launches ASEAN Summit in Indonesian

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono officiated the ASEAN Summit at Nusa Dua, Bali on Thursday at 9 a.m. local time.
"Peaceful greetings and prosperity," President Susilo Yudhoyono said, speaking in Indonesian.
Earlier, the President had highlighted the need for solidarity among ASEAN countries to settle problems in the region using peaceful negotiations.
Indonesia is the chair of ASEAN this year.
The ASEAN Summit and the ensuing gathering of the ASEAN Dialogue Partners will be held from Nov. 17-19, 2011, in Bali.
Indonesia has played host to ASEAN Summits three times: in 1976, 2003 and 2011.

New US military base in Indonesia’s backyard

Indonesia has questioned the motive behind the United States’ move to turn Darwin, the Australian city closest to Indonesia, into a de facto US military base, warning that it could create mistrust among countries in the region.

“What I would hate to see is for the agreement to provoke a reaction and counter-reaction that would create a vicious cycle of tensions and mistrust,” Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa told a press briefing here on Wednesday.

US President Barack Obama and Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard on Wednesday unveiled plans to deepen the US military’s presence in Asia-Pacific, by establishing a US base equipped with 2,500 US marines in Australia’s Northern Territory.

“With my visit to the region, I am making it clear that the United States is stepping up its commitment to the entire Asia-Pacific region,” Obama said in a joint conference with Gillard in Canberra, Reuters reported.

From next year, US troops and aircraft will operate out of Darwin, which is only 820 kilometers from Indonesia, from where they will be able to respond quickly to any humanitarian and security issues in Southeast Asia, where disputes over sovereignty of islands in the South China Sea are causing rising tensions.

“We have been informed by Australia on the matter. We’re not unaware. But it’s very important when a decision of this type is taken that there is transparency for the scenarios being envisaged, and that there is no misunderstanding and tension as a result,” Marty said.

Observers said the US was making a statement aimed at China — that it had a strong military presence in the area.

Hariyadi Wirawan of the University of Indonesia said that the US’ move was untimely and counterproductive when ASEAN, including Indonesia, had been working hard for years to create a more peaceful region.

“We will expect a reaction from China, while ASEAN countries that have problems with China, such as Vietnam and the Philippines, will welcome the move, possibly tearing ASEAN apart,” he said.

Lawmaker T.B. Hasanuddin said the US base in Darwin would create new tensions, and called on Obama to explain his motive to ASEAN.

Four ASEAN countries — Malaysia, the Philippines, Brunei and Vietnam — have territorial disputes in some areas in the South China Sea.