Jakarta, May 10, 2017 - The ongoing global oil price crisis has brought a tremendous domino effect to various sectors in Indonesia, such as slowdown of economic growth in certain regions, struggling oil and gas supporting industries, significant worker lay off and other social impacts in the community. SKK Migas’ data shows 27% year-on-year decline in upstream oil and gas investment, from 15.34 billion USD in 2015 to 11.15 billion USD in 2016. The government and relevant parties must take immediate action for Indonesia to avoid a wider and prolonged energy crisis. A comprehensive long-term solution, that starts with fit-for-purpose policy reform, is much needed.
Marjolijn Wajong, Executive Director of IPA, stated, "I can not stress enough the urgency of the current situation. No significant discovery of new reserves due to low exploration activity will hit Indonesia’s production capability in immediate future. Production decline will get worse if we only rely on existing maturing producing areas. We need to find new reserves in new areas. We need massive investment to do that.”
IPA President Christina Verchere, said that "Indonesia is competing for capital regionally and globally, and therefore it must be attractive enough to attract investment.”
In that spirit, the Indonesian Petroleum Association (IPA) will convene its 41st Convention & Exhibition (Convex) on 17-19 May 2017 at the Jakarta Convention Center, with the theme “Accelerating Reform to Re-Attract Investment to Meet the Economic Growth Target”. This is a forum for policy makers, industry leaders, potential investors and experts to jointly seek actionable solutions which will spur the growth of the industry, which will then induce economic growth across various sectors in Indonesia.
Multiplier Effects and Challenges of the Indonesian Oil and Gas Industry
“The Indonesian oil and gas industry, combined with all its supporting sectors, has a large multiplier effect on the Indonesian economy. According to Katadata, every million USD invested in upstream generates 1.6 million USD added value, creates around 100 jobs and adds 700 thousand USD to GDP,” explained Tumbur Parlindungan, IPA Board Director.
Such significant economic impact, unfortunately, is still constrained by various challenges currently faced by upstream oil and gas industry in Indonesia such as legal certainty, competitiveness of fiscal regime, regulatory reform (revision of Government Regulation No. 79 of 2014 and the economics of gross split scheme), and cost of capital. This resulted in declining oil production, alarmingly low reserve replacement ratio, slow investment in domestic gas infrastructure, and lack of interest in new blocks offered by Indonesia.
IPA, according to Marjolijn Wajong, is keen to actively contribute in the formulation of policies to increase investment and productivity of upstream oil and gas industry in Indonesia.
Looking for Immediate Solution for Oil and Gas Crisis in Indonesia
Without further significant investment, critical exploration activity will continue to decline and Indonesia’s oil and gas potential will not bring any additional value and benefits to the state and its people. IPA believes that building a positive oil and gas investment atmosphere should be a priority for the Indonesian government to re-attract investment in this sector. This will be discussed in depth at the IPA’s 41st Convex.
IPA Convex is the largest convention and exhibition event in Asia Pacific which is a place for Collaboration, Cooperation and Coordination among stakeholders of oil and gas sector in Indonesia. "At the IPA Convex, the relevant stakeholders will discuss key topics to find immediate solutions for the challenges facing Indonesia’s upstream oil and gas industry," said Michael Putra, Chairman of IPA Convex 2017.
The three Plenary Sessions: Re-Attracting Upstream Oil and Gas Investment amidst the Global Capital Efficiency Drive; Beyond Revenues: The Indispensable Contribution of the Upstream Industry to Local Industry and Economic Growth; and Priority Reforms to Re-Attract Investment, are expected to dissect the challenges from many angles to then recommend a comprehensive and immediate actionable steps to re-attract investment. A Special Session will be convened to discuss the important human capital aspect of the industry. The topic “Investing in Indonesians: Impact of the Current Landscape” is to be discussed by representatives of various Indonesian oil and gas’ professional associations.
Scheduled to be opened by President Joko Widodo, more than 100 exhibitors from the oil and gas industry and various relevant sectors including service companies, contractors, government organizations, media, chambers of commerce, etc., have confirmed their attendance to showcase the latest technologies and industry best practices at the exhibition.
There will be more than 110 oral papers and 60 poster that will emphasize the achievements and the breakthrough of the latest developments within the industry, which will be delivered in technical sessions and poster sessions.
“Equally important with the policy discussions, the IPA Convex will also convene its signature knowledge transfer sessions where hundreds of young Indonesians participate in dozens of technical sessions. Over the many years, IPA Convex has accumulated over 3,400 international-quality technical papers – all were done by Indonesians. In addition to nurturing technical knowledge, this year we proudly introduces Business Case Competition to our portfolio of program. The industry faces more and more non-technical challenges, and we are keen to see our young talents getting ready to address them. Over 200 participants took part to test their business acumen in solving the complex set of commercial, political, and societal issues,” explained Michael.
About The Indonesian Petroleum Association (IPA)
The Indonesian Petroleum Association (IPA) is a non-profit organization that was established
in 1971 and is the primary oil and gas industry association in Indonesia, consisting of 42
companies members, 107 association members and more than 1.000 invidual members.
The IPA is the “Partner of Choice” for government to promote the upstream oil and gas
industry through the formulation of appropriate policies and to facilitate consultation,
coordination, and collaboration between all stakeholders, government and its agencies, to
advance the development of the oil and gas industry in Indonesia.
The IPA also promotes the continuation of education and knowledge transfer as a key
contribution towards the development of national capacity through technical courses,
workshops, site visits and the annual IPA Convention and Exhibition.
About the IPA Convention and Exhibition
The IPA Convention and Exhibition is the most prominent oil and gas annual event in the
Southeast Asia region and has been held for the past 40 years.
The IPA Convention and Exhibition brings together policy makers, regulators, experts,
investors, operators and support sectors to exchange ideas, learn of new advanced
technologies and partner together to enhance future investment in the oil and gas industry
For more information, please contact:
Executive Director, Indonesian Petroleum Association
Email: [email protected]
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Supply chains are currently in crisis. They have been for a long time now, ever since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic reshaped the way the world works. Stressed shipping networks and operational blockages – coupled with China’s insistence on a Covid-zero policy – means that cargo tanker rates are at an all-time high and that there just aren’t enough of them. McDonalds and KFCs in Asia are running out of French fries to sell, not because there aren’t enough potatoes in Idaho, but because there aren’t enough ships to deliver them to Japan or to Singapore from Los Angeles. The war in Ukraine has placed a particular emphasis on food supply chains by disrupting global wheat and sunflower oil supply chains and kicking off distressingly high levels of food price inflation across North Africa, the Middle East and Asia. It was against this backdrop that Indonesia announced a complete ban on palm oil exports. That nuclear option shocked the markets, set off a potential new supply chain crisis and has particular implications on future of crude oil pricing and biofuels in Asia.
A brief recap. Like most of Asia, Indonesia has been grappling with food price inflation as consequence of Covid-19. Like most of Asia, Indonesia has been attempting to control this through a combination of shielding its most vulnerable citizens through continued subsidies while attempting to optimise supply chains. Like most of Asia, Indonesia hasn’t been to control the market at all, because uncoordinated attempts across a wide spectrum of countries to achieve a similar level of individual protectionism is self-defeating.
Cooking oil is a major product of sensitive importance in Indonesia, and one that it is self-sufficient in as a result of its status as the world’s largest palm oil producer. So large is Indonesia in that regard that its excess palm oil production has been directed to increasingly higher biodiesel mandates, with a B40 mandate – diesel containing 40% of palm material – originally schedule for full implementation this year. But as palm oil prices started rising to all-time highs at the beginning of January, cooking oil started becoming scarcer in Indonesia. The government blamed hoarding and – wary of the Ramadan period and domestic unrest – implemented a Domestic Market Obligation on palm oil refineries, directing them to devote 20% of projected exports for domestic use. Increasingly stricter terms for the DMO continued over February and March, only for an abrupt U-turn in mid-March that removed the DMO completely. But as the war in Ukraine drove prices even further, Indonesia shocked the market by announcing an total ban on palm oil exports in late April. Chaotically, the ban was first clarified to be palm olein only (straight refining cooking oil), but then flip-flopped into a total ban of crude palm oil as well. Markets went haywire, prices jumped to historical highs and Indonesia’s trading partners reacted with alarm.
Joko Widodo has said that the ban will be indefinite until domestic cooking oil prices ‘moderate’. With the global situation as it is, ‘moderate’ is unlikely to be achieved until the end of 2022 at least, if ‘moderate’ is taken to be the previous level of palm oil prices – roughly half of current pricing. Logistically, Indonesia cannot hold out on the ban for more than two months. Only a third of Indonesia’s monthly palm oil production is consumed domestically; the rest is exported. An indefinite ban means that not only fill storage tanks up beyond capacity and estates forced to let fruit rot, but Indonesia will be missing out on crucial revenue from its crude palm oil export tax. Which is used to fund its biodiesel subsidies.
And that’s where the implications on oil come in. Indonesia’s ham-fisted attempt at protectionism has dire implications on biofuels policies in Asia. Palm oil prices within Indonesia might sink as long as surplus volumes can’t make it beyond the borders, but international palm oil prices will remain high as consuming countries pivot to producers like Malaysia, Thailand, Papua New Guinea, West Africa and Latin America. That in turn, threatens the biodiesel mandates in Thailand and Malaysia. The Thai government has already expressed concern over palm-led food price inflation and associated pressure on its (subsidised) biodiesel programme, launching efforts to mitigate the worst effects. Malaysia – which has a more direct approach to subsidised fuels – is also feeling the pinch. Thailand’s move to B10 and Malaysia’s move to B20 is now in jeopardy; in fact, Thailand has regressed its national mandate from B7 to B5. And the reason is that the differential between the bio- and the diesel portion of the biodiesel is now so disparate that subsidy regimes break down. It would be far cheaper – for the government, the tax-payers and consumers – to use straight diesel instead of biodiesel, as evidenced by Thailand’s reversal in mandates.
That, in turn, has implications on crude pricing. While OPEC+ is stubbornly sticking to its gentle approach to managing global crude supply, the stunning rebound in Asian demand has already kept the consumption side tight to match that supply. Crude prices above US$100/b are a recipe for demand destruction, and Asian economies have been preparing for this by looking at alternatives; biofuels for example. In the past four years, Indonesia has converted some of its oil refineries into biodiesel plants; in China, stricter crude import quotas are paving the way for China to clamp down on its status of a fuels exporter in favour of self-sustainability. But what happens when crude prices are high, but the prices of alternatives are higher? That is the case for palm oil now, where the gasoil-palm spread is now triple the previous average.
Part of this situation is due to market dynamics. Part of it is due to geopolitical effects. But part of it is also due to Indonesia’s knee-jerk reaction. Supply disruption at the level of a blanket ban is always seismic and kicks off a chain of unintended consequences; see the OPEC oil shocks of the 70s. Indonesia’s palm oil export ban is almost at that level. ‘Indefinite’ is a vague term and offers no consolation to markets looking for direction. Damage will be done, even if the ban lasts a month. But the longer it lasts – Indonesian general elections are due in February 2024 – the more serious the consequences could be. And the more the oil and refining industry in Asia will have to think about their preconceived notions of the future of oil in the region.
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