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LatAmOil: Pertamina ventures into Venezuela’s Maracaibo basin

Indonesia’s national oil company (NOC) Pertamina is actively developing a field in Venezuela’s Maracaibo basin that contains potential reserves of 12bn barrels of oil. Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Arifin Tasrif drew attention to the urgency of developing this valuable asset while making a statement in Jakarta on February 2.

Minister Arifin, accompanied by Pertamina representatives, recently visited Venezuela for discussions on the project. The Indonesian company has been involved in the region since 2016, when its subsidiary Pertamina International Exploration and Production (PIEP) signed an agreement to acquire 24.53% of France’s Maurel & Prom (M&P) from Pacifico, a company owned by M&P’s CEO.

However, Malaysia’s Supreme Audit Agency (BPK) has raised questions about that acquisition, which may have caused the state to incur indicating losses of up to $60mn. Minister Arifin has encouraged the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) to investigate any fraud or irregularities but also remains optimistic about the promising potential of the Venezuelan field.