April 24, 2020 / 5:50 AM / a month ago

Indonesia upstream oil and gas regulator asks for sector exemption on travel ban

JAKARTA, April 24 (Reuters) - Indonesia’s upstream oil and gas regulator SKK Migas said it will ask the Transport Ministry to exempt the sector from its ban on air and sea travel to reduce disruptions to drilling operations, an official said on Friday.

To curb the spead of coronavirus in Southeast Asia’s biggest economy, Indonesia is suspending all air and sea transportation, barring few exemptions, until the end of May.

Among those exempted are cargoes flights or vessels and navy patrols.

“We are going to request to the Transport Minister to exempt the upstream oil and gas industry, for example for its crew change and logistic deliveries,” said Julius Wiratno, SKK Migas deputy for operation, told Reuters on Friday.

He said crew changes at oil and gas fields take place weekly and among those with an upcoming rotation is BP’s Tangguh field off West Papua.

The formal request for the exemption will be sent to the ministry as soon as possible, Wiratno said.

A Transport Ministry spokeswoman could not immediately comment about the request.

Reporting by Wilda Asmarini Additional reporting by Maikel Jefriando Writing by Fransiska Nangoy; Editing by Kim Coghill

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