RPT-FEATURE-Indonesia's Texas? Rural Java braces for oil boom

By : (Repeats story that moved at 0000 GMT)
Date posted :2009-08-10 02:04:00

By Ed Davies

BOJONEGORO, Indonesia, Aug 10 (Reuters) - Few things seem to happen at speed in this sleepy Java town where rickshaws ply the streets. But this rural area of rice fields and teak forests is set to be transformed by Indonesia's biggest oil find in years.

Oil production could start to flow from the huge Cepu field straddling East and Central Java later this month and eventually add millions of dollars to the coffers of local governments, as well as an influx of workers and a wave of new expectations.

The head of the Bojonegoro district, where most of the Cepu field lies, wants people to keep their feet on the ground.

"I don't want my people to have false dreams. Yes maybe it will be like Texas here, but my people can't get access to that," regency head Suyoto said in an interview in his modest offices. Southeast Asia's biggest new oil field is estimated to contain 350 million barrels of crude, currently worth more than $24 billion on global markets. It also has big reserves of gas.

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