It's quite possible that tourism revenue may cease to be Bali's main source of income in the near future. The Indonesian Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources has announced significant news: geologists have discovered a massive gas field near the paradise island. The potential reserves of natural gas in it could reach 114 billion cubic meters.
Not long ago, in the same region, employees of the Italian gas company ENI discovered reserves of 140 billion cubic meters. Tutuka Ariadji, the CEO for Oil and Gas at the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources of Indonesia, stated that the potential for gas extraction in the waters north of Bali is expected to be almost as significant as what the Italians found.
According to the official, the current estimate of the discovered reserves near the paradise island is based on an old study conducted by the Oil and Gas Testing Center and the British oil and gas company BP: "In fact, this is not the newest study; the research has been ongoing for a very long time. In our opinion, the reserves there may be much larger than what specialists have confirmed so far."
Before actual extraction begins, there is still a long way to go. Many studies and assessments are expected to be conducted in the near future. It is also unclear who will be responsible for the development. Indonesia continues to improve its investment climate and actively attracts transnational corporations with the technologies and capabilities for extraction.
That's why experts are confident that several more major players in the oil and gas market will enter Indonesia in the near future. Recently, BP signed two cooperation contracts for the exploration blocks Agung I (area of 6656 km2, located in deep waters off the coast of Bali and East Java) and Agung II (area of 7970 km2, situated off the coast of South Sulawesi, West Nusa Tenggara, and East Java). These areas are unexplored but have potential gas resources and are strategically located near regions with growing demand for this type of fuel.
Currently, Indonesia hosts major Western oil and gas companies such as ExxonMobil, Chevron, Shell, Total, and others. Almost 70% of oil and gas production in Indonesia is carried out by foreigners. The mechanism for allocating exploration licenses is transparent and highly systematized. The country conducts two tender rounds annually with full access to geological information.