Australia Eyes Oil Masela Block Resources?

Thursday, 03 March 2016 , 17:00:00 WIB - Economy

The Masela Block. The uncertainty may create an opportunity for Australia to annex the Masela Block (Maritim.go.id)

JAKARTA, GRES.NEWS – The uncertainty surrounding the Masela Block refinery project may be an opportunity for Australia to occupy the area.

Institute of Defense and Security Studies (IDSS) Executive Director, Connie Rahakundini Bakrie, said Australia may be peeking for an opportunity to take over the region if the focuses too much on the refinery project and forgetting to secure the area.

Connie revealed that only a few Indonesian Navy ships have been security the area. "The Masela Block borders directly with Australia.

Why are we busy arguing about whether the refinery should a floating refinery of an onshore refinery while forgetting that Masela is a vital national object. The navy and the airforce should be there as Australia is close," said Connie, Jakarta, Wednesday (2/3).

The distance between Masela and Tanimbar is indeed less than 1,000 miles.

Energi Watch Indonesia (EWI) executive director Ferdinand Hutahean said there is little possibility that Australia will annex the area. "Highly impossible as it [the annexation] would destabilize the Asia-Pacific region," said Ferdinand, to gres.news, Thursday (3/3).

However, he acknowledges that Indonesia must be aware as Australia is technologically advanced, so the country may find a way to pump out oil from the block through slant drilling. "But this possibility is also small," he said.

MINISTERS MOCK EACH OTHER – In the meantime, the Coordinating Minister of Maritime Affairs and Natural Resources, Rizal Ramli, and the Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources, Sudirman Said, are busy attacking each other on the Internet, publicly.

The ministers are now in a Twitter meme war. On 29 February, Rizal posted a meme of Sudirman.

Besides the picture, Sudirmain said commented: "Stop making a polemic. Pretending to fight for the people, deceiving [the people-red], claiming he knows more, attempting to replace the current investor with a new one. Stop lying to the public. One day your scheme will be unraveled".

Rizal replied: "Oh my...Why are you busy analyzing your own behavior.. It's funny".

Aware of the quarrel, the House of Representatives Vice Chairman, Fadli Zon, urges President Joko Widodo to handle the situation. "If he does not summon the two, there will be uncertainty for the public and investors considering in investing in Indonesia," he said, Jakarta, Wednesday (2/3). (dtc)

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