Total Indonesia to Spend $1.9 Billion in 2009

The Indonesian unit of French oil major Total plans to invest $1.9 billion in the Southeast nation's oil and gas sector, the head of the firm said on Monday.

Indonesia, Asia Pacific's only OPEC member, has stepped up efforts to lure more foreign investment into the energy sector in a bid to increase the country's dwindling output.

"The capital expenditure for 2008 is $1.9 billion, we will spend about the same in 2009," the head of Total E&P Indonesia, Philippe Armand, told reporters after meeting Vice President Jusuf Kalla.

The 2008 capital expenditure figure is higher than an earlier estimate of $1.5 billion.

Total said last year it had made two new gas discoveries in the southern part of the offshore Mahakam block, about 45 km (28 miles) from Balikpapan in Indonesia's East Kalimantan province. It expects the field to start producing in 2012.

Total supplies approximately 80 percent of the feed gas for the Bontang liquefaction plant in Indonesia, the world's biggest LNG facility.

The gas supplied to Bontang comes from the Mahakam block along with the Tambora, Tunu and Peciko gas fields. Japan's Inpex Holdings also holds a 50 percent share in the block.