Indonesia is set to auction more oil and gas blocks in the North Sumatra basin to boost gas production in the region, reported Reuters via the Economic Times, citing a senior official from the country’s energy ministry.

The decision is spurred by Mubadala Energy’s gas find announced in December 2023, which is estimated to hold more than 6tcf of gas.

United Arab Emirates-based Mubadala made a significant deep-sea gas reserve discovery at the Layaran-1 well in the South Andaman Block off North Sumatra.

The exploration well encountered a substantial gas column more than 230m thick in an Oligocene sandstone reservoir.

Currently, the energy ministry is evaluating potential blocks for this year’s auction.

Indonesia Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources Oil and Gas director-general Tutuka Ariadji was quoted by the news agency as saying: “North Sumatra basin is one of the potential areas for further exploration after a major discovery recently in Layaran-1 by Mubadala Energy.”

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Without disclosing the number of blocks due to be offered, Tutuka said the country would launch the first tender round in mid-May 2024.

In January 2024, Reuters reported that Indonesia plans to auction ten oil and gas working areas this year.

At that time, Tutuka said that some prospective areas are located in the northern part of East Java province and near the Andaman block in offshore Aceh province.

In the 2023 offerings, out of ten oil and gas blocks, five have already been awarded to contractors.

Tutuka said the remaining five blocks, including the Natuna D-Alpha exploration block, are indicated as available.