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Dec. 31 (Bloomberg) -- Indonesia will seek bids for 50 new oil and gas blocks next year through tenders and direct offers to help boost output, said Evita Legowo, director general of oil and gas at the Energy and Minerals Resources Ministry.

The government will seek investors next year to develop 10 coal-bed methane working areas, Legowo said in a press briefing in Jakarta today.

“We will also offer nine geothermal working areas” to increase the use of the cleaner-burning fuel, Energy Minister Darwin Saleh said at the same briefing today. The projects would have a potential capacity to generate 1,336 megawatts of electricity, he said.

Indonesia, Southeast Asia’s biggest crude oil producer, pulled out of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries in 2008 as aging fields and declining output turned the nation into a net oil importer. The nation may return to net exporter status by 2020, according to Gita Wirjawan, chairman of Indonesia’s investment coordinating board.

To contact the reporter on this story: Bambang Djanuarto in Jakarta at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Greg Ahlstrand at

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