Re-elected CEO to bring
Pertamina to ‘number

Karen Agustiawan: (JP/Ricky Yudhistira)
Karen Agustiawan: (JP/Ricky Yudhistira)

After weeks of uncertainty over her status as chief executive of Pertamina, 54-year-old Karen Agustiawan has been officially reappointed to lead the state-run oil and gas firm for another 5-year term.

Pertamina’s first female boss, whose reverie is to transform the firm into a world-class company by 2023, promises to further strengthen the firm’s performance in her second tenure.

 “Our campaign to aggressively expand our upstream business and make our downstream profitable must succeed in the second period [of my leadership],” she said in a text message sent to The Jakarta Post on Thursday.

Karen, previously Pertamina upstream director, with past experience at US giant Mobil Oil (now ExxonMobil) and Halliburton, also said that the firm aimed to become the country’s number one oil and gas producer in the next five years.

Pertamina is currently the second-largest crude oil producer in Indonesia behind US-based Chevron Pacific Indonesia — whose output amounts to 40 percent of total output — and the third-largest gas producer behind France-based Total E&P Indonesie (21 percent) and British giant BP (15 percent).

Pertamina’s oil output of 196,060 barrels per day (bpd) throughout 2012 covers only 17 percent of total production of Indonesia, a former member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

Pertamina’s gas output of 1,049 million meter standard cubic feet per day (mmscfd) of gas, meanwhile, amounts to only 13 percent of the country’s total output.

Karen said that before her second term ends, “Pertamina must be able to contribute to at least 50 percent of the country’s total production through cooperation with major partners.”

As previously reported by the Post, the government officially reinstalled the Bandung Institute Technology (ITB) graduate on Wednesday.

Karen was first appointed Pertamina CEO in 2009 replacing Ari Soemarno. Her tenure should have ended in March this year but it was “extended temporarily” before the official decision was made this week.

Karen is the first Pertamina CEO in years to complete her term — and now, the first since the late 2000s to be reappointed — as most of her predecessors were all terminated before they completed their tenure.

State-owned Enterprises Minister Dahlan Iskan said in Jakarta on Thursday that the wife of National Energy Council member Herman Agustiawan was reelected for her “bravery”.

“We need a courageous person to lead Pertamina and she [Karen] is that person. She has the guts to make big decisions,” said Dahlan, adding that under Karen’s leadership, Pertamina saw record-high net profits of Rp 25.89 trillion ($2.67 billion) last year

Pertamina has signed an agreement with the ConocoPhillips to purchase the New York-listed firm’s Algerian unit, North ConocoPhillips Algeria Ltd and is currently in negotiations to take oil and gas assets in Oman and Iraq.

This year, Pertamina aims to seal the acquisitions of five oil and gas blocks abroad this year, which is expected to boost its total production by at least 32,000 bpd of crude oil.

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