By Fathiya Dahrul and Fergus Jensen
JAKARTA, March 5 The chief executive of
Indonesia's state-owned oil and gas company, Pertamina
, has been asked to stay on after the expiry of her
four-year term on Tuesday, a minister said.
Pertamina is one of Indonesia's most valuable state assets
and sources of funding, and the process of choosing its leader
is frequently embroiled in controversy and political feuds.
During the time Karen Agustiawan ran Pertamina as its first
woman chief executive, Indonesia's second-biggest oil producer
aggressively acquired oil assets both at home and abroad to
boost profits and offset declining output.
"Now her time is up, but before a new CEO is appointed there
must continue to be one," Dahlan Iskan, the minister for
state-owned enterprises, told reporters.
"We're waiting for the decision of the final assessment team
and they won't necessarily replace her. They may also not extend
The company reported profits of more than 25.89 trillion
rupiah ($2.67 billion) in 2012 and was expected to boost oil
output by 5 percent to 244,000 barrels of oil per day this year.
"Mrs. Karen is pretty good. She's not that special, but she
is pretty good," said Iskan, who along with President Susilo
Bambang Yudhoyono makes the final decision on who will run
"Her profits were the largest in the history of Pertamina."
Agustiawan could not be reached for comment. A Pertamina
spokesman declined to confirm the extension of her tenure.
Pertamina plans to spend up to $6.7 billion to boost
production and expand infrastructure in 2013.
The company bought three Indonesian units of U.S. oil
company Anadarko Petroleum Corp for an undisclosed price
in December, followed by the acquisition of the Algerian unit of
ConocoPhillips for $1.75 billion.
Last month, Pertamina scrapped its plan to buy the
Venezuelan assets of Harvest Natural Resources Inc for
Pertamina, which accounted for 17 percent of Indonesia's oil
and gas output in 2012, is under pressure to improve oil
infrastructure to prevent subsidised fuels from being sold
illegally. Fuel subsidies gobble up around 15 percent of
government spending, totalling 306.5 trillion rupiah last year.