China officially told the Indonesian government to stop appraisal drilling at Harbour Energy’s (LON:HBR) Tuna Block offshore Indonesia in maritime territory that both nations view as their own during a months-long standoff in the South China Sea, reported Reuters.
Jakarta is preparing to bolster its maritime security defences in the Natuna Sea, which is rich in fisheries and natural gas, after increasing incursions by Chinese vessels within Indonesia’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ). The news should provide some comfort to upstream oil and gas investors operating in the Natuna Sea.
A Chinese ship has been meddling with Harbour Energy’s ongoing drilling campaign at its Tuna block in the Natuna Sea offshore Indonesia. Significantly, the appraisal drilling is funded by Russia’s state-backed Zarubezhneft and the incident underscores the fact that Moscow’s energy interests in the South China Sea are increasingly being threatened by China.
A one-day conference focusing on the legal and regulatory challenges facing Indonesia’s oil and gas sector has been hailed a success.