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Profile of Indonesia’s new director general for oil and gas Ego Syahrial

JAKARTA ( – Indonesia’s Minister for Energy and Mineral Resources (ESDM) Ignasius Jonan last week (Aug 2) appointed and installed new director general for oil and gas Ego Syahrial, a key position within the ministry. He replaces I Gusti Nyoman Wiratmaja Puja, who moved to a new post. Who is Ego Syahrial?

Ego is a geologist and has been spending his carrier within the ministry. His last position prior to the new appointment was Head of Geology Agency, under the auspices of the energy ministry. He was appointed to the post on August 18, 2016.

The appointment of Ego is seen as a move by the minister to boost exploration of oil and gas in Indonesia. In recent years, investment in oil and gas exploration has declined, due to lower oil environment as well as lack of attractiveness of investment in the industry.

“He (Ego) has background in geology. We need an expert in geology to support our efforts to increase explorations,” Minister Jonan said.

Ego was former Head of Bureau for Planning and Cooperation at the energy ministry, under former energy minister Jero Wacik as well as former Head of Center for Data and Information (Pusdatim) of the energy ministry.

He once gave witness account at a court in relation to corruption case involving Waryono Karno, a former secretary general of the energy ministry.

Ego earned his undergraduate degree (S1) from petroleum engineering at University of Trisakti and additional degrees from Imperial College London and University of London.

Indonesia’s oil and gas production has continued to decline and expected to decline as oil discoveries were lacking, while production continues. Unless there are new discoveries, Indonesia’s oil proven reserves will deplete in the next 12 years. To prevent the natural decline, there is no other way than to boost oil and gas explorations.

In 2017 revised state budget (APBNP 2017) oil lifting is set at 815,000 barrels per day (bpd) and gas at 1,150 MBOEPD, compared to 829,000 bpd of oil in 2016 and 1,184 of gas.

Realized investment in the first half of 2017 was at US$3.98 billion, of which US$3.96 billion were invested in production activities (exploitation) and only US$0.02 billion were spent in exploration activities.

International oil and gas players blamed lack of legal certainty and assurance in investing in the oil and gas sector. (*)

By Roffie Kurniawan (email:

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