The government is likely to select Deputy Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Rudi Rubiandini to lead SKMigas, the interim upstream oil and gas regulatory task force formed following the disbandment of the now defunct BPMigas.
On Friday Rudi, a Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB) academic who is also a former operations deputy at BPMigas, underwent a series of fit-and-proper tests to gain the post.
Rudi was appointed by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to fill the vacant position of deputy minister after the previous holder, Widjojanto Partowidagdo, died in April last year from a heart attack while climbing Mt. Tambora in West Nusa Tenggara.
“I have gone through the fit-and-proper tests [to become SKMigas head] and the official result will follow next week,” Rudi said in a text message.
“To be honest, I have not done much as the deputy minister to assist Energy and Mineral Resources Minister [Jero Wacik]. But if I do get selected to lead SKMigas, I will do my best.”
Both Yudhoyono and Vice President Boediono have instructed the senior official to maintain his integrity while reforming the task force and reassuring both local and foreign investors in the oil and gas industry about doing business in Indonesia, according to Rudi.
Meanwhile, the ministry’s expert staff, Susilo Siswoutomo, who was also a candidate to take over SKMigas’ leadership, is set to replace Rudi as deputy minister.
SKMigas was formed in less than 24 hours after an unexpected move by the Constitutional Court on Nov. 13 last year disbanding BPMigas by annulling several articles in the 2001 Oil and Gas Law that served as the erstwhile regulator’s legal basis.
The court ordered the government to take over the functions of BPMigas in a bid to honor all existing oil and gas contracts.
Energy minister Jero previously served as the head of SKMigas. However, he acknowledged that his double-duty would not be permanent as the law forbids Cabinet ministers holding other senior official positions during their tenure.
Under a new presidential regulation slated to be published later this month, the interim SKMigas will be changed to special task force SKKMigas.
Jero had said that the word "interim" might cause uncertainty among oil and gas investors, and thus the government decided to change it into "special task force" instead. (swd)