Rubiandini to head Indonesia's SKKMigas

In the pipeline: ExxonMobil's Cepu block, above, among key projects for new regulator

Indonesia’s deputy energy and mineral resources minister Rudi Rubiandi has been appointed chairman of the country’s reconstituted upstream regulator SKKMigas.

Rubiandini was previously deputy operations chief of former upstream regulator BPMigas.

He had been seen by observers as one of the leading contenders for the job along with national oil and gas company Pertamina’s president director Karen Agustiawan.

Rubiandini will replace his boss, energy and mineral resources minister Jero Wacik, who is stepping down to avoid a conflict of interest.

It is expected Rubiandini will pick up where BPMigas boss Raden Priyono left off, with an emphasis on pushing key oil projects to completion.

The Cepu Block’s Banyu Urip oil discovery, Inpex's Masela block, BP's Tangguh and Chevron's deep-water development in the Makassar Straits are all thought to be high priority projects.

BPMigas was disbanded in November 2012 after the Constitutional Court ruled that the upstream regulator was unconstitutional.

SKSPMigas was hastily set up in its place under ministerial oversight. It has now been renamed SKMigas to replace the word ‘interim’ with ‘special task force’ in oder to prevent causing uncertainty in the industry and adversely impacting the upstream investment climate.

The regulator is to be made permanent, but this will first require a law change.

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