US oil company Exxon has struck oil and gas on the northern coast of Java, Indonesian Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro said here Thursday.
"In Cepu, Central Java, they (Exxon) found that two wells yielded gas, and there are indications that the reserve is quite large," Purnomo said after a limited cabinet meeting on the economy at the office of the vice president.
The minister said he was loath to announce the amount of gas estimated to have been found in Cepu, but said the hydrocarbon layer there was some 300 metres (1,002 feet) thick, 100 meters (334 feet) of it gas, and the rest oil.
"What is clear is that there are indications that the gas and oil reserve in Cepu is quite large," Purnomo said.
Cepu was drilled for oil in the Dutch colonial times but only small scale oil mining operations are conducted there now by local residents.
ExxonMobil operates the huge Arun gas field in Indonesia's Aceh province, but it shut down its operations there earlier in March citing security reasons.
Separatist rebels of the Free Aceh Movement, which has been fighting for a free Islamic state in Aceh since the 1970s, are operating in the area—AFP.
©--Agence France Presse 2001.
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)