Indonesia’s energy regulator head arrested over bribery claims

The head of the Indonesian energy regulator has been arrested over allegations of bribery, it has been reported. Rudi Rubiandini, the head of SKK Migas – the Special Task Force […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

The head of the Indonesian energy regulator has been arrested over allegations of bribery, it has been reported.

Rudi Rubiandini, the head of SKK Migas – the Special Task Force for Upstream Oil and Gas Business – and former deputy energy and mineral resources minister, was arrested at his home in South Jakarta and taken into custody late Tuesday, the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) said in a statement.

As the upstream oil and gas regulator, SKK Migas deals with the search for, recovery and production of crude oil and natural gas.

Reports allege Mr Rubiandini took thousands of dollars in bribes from an oil firm and although KPK officials haven’t named the private company, they gave the initials KOPL.

KPK said in a statement: “At the site, the Commission found and secured the evidence in the form of the sum of $400,000 and a big motor[cycle].”

Last year Transparency International ranked Indonesia 118th out of 176 countries on its annual index, which rates the least to the most corrupt countries.

The news comes as a huge blow to the nation as it has been struggling to attract international investment in the country. It is aiming for more investors after its output fell and it became a net importer of crude oil.

According to figures from the Oil & Gas Journal (OGJ), Indonesia had 3.9 billion barrels of proven oil reserves as of January 2012. Total oil production continued to decline from a high of nearly 1.7 million barrels per day (bbl/d) in 1991 to just under 1.0 million bbl/d in 2011.

Earlier this year, French energy giant Total agreed to pay $398.2 million (£261.8m) in fines to settle claims it paid out bribes in return for oil contracts in Iran.