Jakarta – The Indonesian Petroleum Association (IPA) welcomes the government's plan to revise Energy and Mineral Resources Ministerial Decree No. 27/2006 to allow investors to access Indonesia's oil and gas data for free.
"We have waited for the open data policy for a long time. If it is executed, it can help investors to assess prospective areas for exploration," IPA executive director Marjolijn "Meity" Wajong told The Jakarta Post on Wednesday.
Meity said she believed the new policy would help Indonesia's oil and gas business become more attractive for investors as thorough study of the potential could reduce exploration risks.
"It will boost investor confidence to invest in exploration," she said, adding that the IPA hoped the new regulation could make positive impacts on its ongoing campaign to push oil and gas exploration in the country.
"The open data policy will be very helpful for exploration, as oil and gas exploration is very dependent on the availability of technical data and its quality."
Mamit Setiawan of Energy Watch Indonesia made a similar statement, saying that the new regulation would help Indonesia increase its long-term oil reserves.
He noted that currently most of the country's oil reserves were located in deep water areas and, therefore, the regulation could encourage investors to find more new oil and gas reserves.
However, he added that oil and gas exploration was a high-risk investment and full of uncertainty. "The data provided by the government could give investors some sort of guidance for their exploration and exploitation plans," he added.
In April, the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry announced that it planned to provide the country's oil and gas field data freely through the internet, following the example of other countries like Mexico, Norway and Australia.
Initially, Energy and Mineral Resources deputy minister Arcandra Tahar said that the revision of Ministerial Decree No.27/2006 would be issued in May, but that has not yet happened.
Ministry spokesman Agung Pribadi said on Wednesday it was still discussing the open data policy with relevant parties, while the ministry's data and information technology center head, Agus Cahyono Adi, said the draft was still being finalized.
Agus said according to the draft, the ministry would categorize the data into several types – raw and basic data, as well as processed data and interpreted data.
"Non-members would be able to access raw and basic data, while members would be given access to processed data and interpreted data," he said. However, he did not say that investors were required to pay to become members.
Mamit suggested that the government should only provide access to serious investors who would be required to sign confidentiality agreements to avoid any misuse. (nal/bbn)