Jakarta (ANTARA) - Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources (ESDM), Arifin Tasrif, has said that he will continue to explore various potential areas in Indonesia for increasing oil and gas production.

"We will continue to explore areas that have the potential for oil and gas resources," he informed during a press conference on the 2023 draft state budget and financial notes, which was followed online from Jakarta on Tuesday.

Exploration is a step to increase production amid the declining productivity of old oil wells, he explained. Producing oil and gas from the existing potential area might take a long time, therefore this exploration is intended for the long term, he added.

"In terms of oil, there is a tendency for old wells to start decreasing their production. We must be able to maintain production levels by taking steps to increase production," the minister said.

He informed that since 2014, there has been no new exploration in Indonesia. Therefore, his ministry has continued to pursue infrastructure development in areas with the potential to produce oil and gas.

Related news: Expect govt incentives to boost oil, gas production: minister

Currently, his ministry is working on developing gas infrastructure connecting North Sumatra to East Java. The potential in North Sumatra can be utilized for the next 5 to 10 years.

"We are working on developing gas infrastructure to connect from North Sumatra to East Java," he added.

Tasrif explained that oil production in Rokan block, Riau province, has shown an increase, after a decline in production some time ago. In Mahakam Block, East Kalimantan, construction work has also been completed to increase production capacity.

He said he is targeting that next year, oil and gas production will be able to maintain crude oil lifting at 680 thousand barrels per day and gas lifting at 1.05 million barrels of oil equivalent per day.

He further said he hopes that the existing policy mix would help increase investment from investors in the oil and gas sector.

In his 2023 draft state budget speech on Tuesday, President Joko Widodo announced the target of crude oil lifting at 660 thousand barrels per day and gas lifting at 1.05 million barrels of oil equivalent per day.

Related news: SKK Migas increases TKDN level to enhance production capacity

Translator: Muhammad Heriyanto, Resinta S
Editor: Suharto
Copyright © ANTARA 2022