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Jakarta Post

Ambalat dispute, a spat between neighbors

  • Imanuddin Razak

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Sat, June 6 2009   /  12:27 pm

Witnessing the latest "border spat" between Indonesia and Malaysia over the Ambalat territory, one may immediately question: Is this really necessary? Another question would be: Is the dispute truly happening? In response to the first question, many - perhaps most - of the both Indonesian and Malaysian citizens, would certainly say the oil-rich territory is worth fighting for. Why? Because the dispute centers over claims to the ownership of the territory which consists of two blocks with potentially huge oil and gas reserves. Ambalat is a 15,235 square kilometer maritime area located off the coast of east Kalimantan, which both Indonesia and Malaysia claim to be theirs. Geologist Andang Bachtiar estimates that just one of the Ambalat blocks could hold as much as 764 million barrels of oil and 1.4 trillion cubic feet of gas. Oil and gas have become very important commo...