Comprising an archipelago of more than 17,000 islands, a third of which are inhabited, the Republic of Indonesia has a total land area of almost two million square kilometers, stretching across three time zones from east to west, equivalent to the distance between London and the Ural Mountains in Russia.
The Indonesian archipelago has been an important trade region since at least the seventh century. Following three and a half centuries of Dutch colonialism, Indonesia secured its independence after World War II.
Indonesia's population of more than 235 million is the world's fourth largest, and represents more than 300 ethnic groups, societies and cultures, many of which predate recorded history. This rich cultural legacy combines to create one of the most fascinating and diverse countries on earth... a country that treasures its people and heritage under the national motto "Bhinneka Tunggal Ika"..."Unity in Diversity".
History of Oil & Gas in Indonesia
Exploration for oil in Indonesia dates back to 1871, with the first commercial production beginning in 1885, although most of its natural resources remained untapped until Indonesia gained its independence and became a Republic in 1945.
In the first half of the 20th century, three groups of merged companies under foreign ownership dominated exploration and production: Shell/BPM, STANVAC, and Caltex.
With independence following WWII, the oil, oil fields, refineries and supplies seized by the Japanese invasion force were returned to the Indonesian Government, and the new era of Indonesian energy exploration and production began.
The State Constitution of 1945 decreed that "All of Indonesia's land, water and natural resources are controlled by the State and will be utilized for the greatest benefit and welfare of its people", and oil and gas have played an instrumental role in Indonesia's economic development, with energy companies, both foreign and domestic, working in partnership with state bodies to find and produce oil, gas and geothermal energy.
In the Asia Pacific region, Indonesian oil production is second only to China, and its gas production is second to none.