Does Indonesia has Oil?
Once upon a time, when I introduced myself to one of my friend from northen african, one of his first question is “Do you have Oil in your country?” My reflect answer is -without thinking to much is “yes we have, we once member of OPEC, in the past we produce so many oil, but now, era is changed, we are one of the biggest oil importer”. That kind of answer make him satisfied. I think because he never heard Indonesia as oil exporter -of course most of us knows that oil produced in middle east. So, fair answer I think. We are good in the past, but now we have some problem like other developing countries.
But, if you ask Indonesian about their energy security. I believe that most of the answer is Indonesia is one of biggest oil producer in the world. Their answer is not wrong, knowing that in the past Oil is very cheap, Japan invasion in 1942 is due to oil, all of big oil company in the world has their operation in Indonesia.
But if you ask me about Oil in Indonesia, my answer is simply that Oil is a high level game that only played by very big player, or even a very big country. History of oil is history of land, history of expansion, history of war.
Minas oil field that discovered in 1944, starting to production in 1952 is one of the biggest oil field in south east asia. It was one of the important oil field in pacific area. Pacific theatre is different game than atlantic theater. What Shell discovered in 1890 on Sumatra is a very long journey on energy exploration in the archipelago country. In the next 100 years, geopolitical situation might be constant, but the commodity will be changing. It can be coal, palm oil or gas, a form of energy. Or its on the form of product. We never know, but conflict is plausible