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TAMBANG, August 27, 2012 | 22.44
From The Dutch To The American Era

The Cepu block has been producing oil for more than a century. It all started in 1887 when approximately 30 oil sites were found there, one of the sites was called Ledok. The oil was first managed by Dordtsche Petroleum Maatschappij (DPM) in 1891. DPM then changed its name into Bataafsche Petroleum Mascappij after the Indonesian independence, then changed again into Perusahaan Tambang Minyak Rakyat Indonesia (Indonesian People's Oil Company/PTMRI) as a result of a nationalization effort.
The name of the company changed from time to time, from Perusahaan Negara (PN – State's Enterprise), to Pertambangan Minyak and Gas Bumi Nasional (Permigan – National Oil and Gas Mining), Pusdik Migas (Center for Education of Oil and Gas), PPTMGB Lemigas, PPT Migas and lastly to Pusdiklat Migas (Center for Education and Learning of Oil and Gas). In 1987, through the then Minister of Mining and Energy's decree, the block was handed over to Pertamina, the state-owned oil giant.
On 3 August 1990, the Cepu Block management right was handed over to a private company, PT Humpuss Patragas, owned by Tommy Soeharto, the son of Indonesia's then President Soeharto. Humpuss Partragas managed the block under technical assistance contracts. Due to financial re-sources limitation, Humpuss Patragas sold 49 percent of its share to Ampolex, Australia oil company in 1996.
In December 1996, Ampolex was acquired by Mobil Oil, the US oil and gas company. Mobil Oil name was then changed into Exxon Mobil in November 1999. Humpuss sold the rest of its share (51 percent) in June 2000 to Exxon Mobil, which eventually turned Exxon Mobil as a 100 percent owner of the Cepu block shares. Nevertheless, being the solid owner of 100 percent of the shares had not changed the Technical Assistance Contract.
Pertamina remained the “boss” with full power over the Cepu block. Exxon Mobil must remains a “worker”, assisting Pertamina in doing its job. This was dramatically changed after Law No 22/2001 on Oil and Gas was imposed. Exxon Mobil then owned the power over the Block which turned Pertamina into “worker” whose assistance was only on call. With the new contract signed on 17 September 2005, Exxon Mobil can manage the block until 2035.