Chrevron's activities in Riau province, Indonesia

Chevron’s production in Riau province, has been plagued by economic and environmental injustice but Chevron has repressed the protests. In May 2013, the anti-corruption court convicted two directors of two Chevron’s Indonesian contractors for corruption.


Chevron's partnership with the people and the Government of Indonesia can be traced back to 1924, when the Standard Oil Company of California (Socal), now Chevron, dispatched a geological expedition to the island of Sumatra. [8] Its oil production began in 1952 and it remained active in Indonesia throughout the infamously brutal and repressive decades of the Suharto dictatorship (1965-1998). The majority of Chevron’s oil production has, and continues to take place in the Riau province in the center of the Sumatra Island, where it operates four onshore blocks, the largest of which, the Duri field, is one of the world’s giant oilfields and the one of the largest steamflood operations. [6] Through its subsidiaries, PT Chevron Pacific Indonesia and Chevron Indonesia Company, it conducts oil and gas operations. Chevron also manages geothermal projects through Chevron Geothermal Indonesia, Ltd., and Chevron Geothermal Salak, Ltd., in Indonesia. It also sells lubricants in Indonesia through its subsidiary PT Chevron Oil Products Indonesia. [8] Chevron’s Riau production has been plagued by economic injustice, environmental destruction, and the dislocation and disenfranchisement of Indigenous populations. As a result, citizen resistance to Chevron has been a constant of life in Riau, often taking the form of massive protests against the company, with protestors at times numbering in the tens of thousands. Chevron has employed brutal measures to quiet protests, including utilizing Indonesia’s notorious security services, bringing charges of human rights abuse, violence and intimidation. For example, WALHI - Friends of the Earth Indonesia denounced many such facts in a 2011 report. They describe for example collusions between the company and special forces in Indonesia: on 27 January 2000 Chevron paid the BRIMOB to overcome a series of actions and protests over land disputes and employment [6]. The BRIMOB are well-known for extreme human rights violations, including kidnapping, rape, torture, indiscriminate violence and murder. As a result of the brutality of BRIMOB, 15 people involved in the protests against Chevron were wounded and five were hospitalized.  The report goes on with a protest action happened September 14th, 2009, when Mr. Darmaidi, a local sand miner, climbed atop a Chevron high-voltage electricity tower in Pematang Pudu and he sought to commit suicide from atop Chevron’s tower. Only the supportive words of neighbors brought him down safely. The reason was he was unable to work on his land because, he contended, it had been contaminated by Chevron’s oil. Two months earlier, Darmiadi sent a letter to Chevron asking the company to take responsibility. The company denied responsibility and his request, and further argued that because Chevron owned part of his land, Darmaidi should not be sand mining on the land anyway.

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Basic Data
NameChrevron's activities in Riau province, Indonesia
ProvinceRiau province in the center of the Sumatra Island
SiteManggala Jonson Village; local communities in the Rumbai Coastal area
Accuracy of LocationMEDIUM regional level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Fossil Fuels and Climate Justice/Energy
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Land acquisition conflicts
Oil and gas exploration and extraction
Specific CommoditiesLand
Crude oil
Natural Gas
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsChevron has been Indonesia’s largest producer of crude oil which delivers approximately 40% of national production from its operations in Riau and East Kalimantan and provides electricity for millions of Indonesians from its geothermal projects in West Java. The total cumulative oil production is more than 12 billion barrels.[8]

In 2010 daily production averaging 477,000 barrels of oil and 611 million cubic feet of natural gas .[6]
Type of PopulationSemi-urban
Start Date27/01/2000
Company Names or State EnterprisesChevron Pacific Indonesia (CPI) from Indonesia
Chevron Pacific Indonesia-Sumatra Light North from Indonesia
Chevron Pacific Indonesia-Sumatra Light South from Indonesia
Chevron Pacific Indonesia-Heavy Oil from Indonesia
Green Planet from Indonesia
Sumigita from Indonesia
from United States of America
Relevant government actorsExecutive Agency for Upstream Oil and Gas (BPMIGAS); Local Parliament Commission in the Rumbai Coastal area; Ministry of Environment; Supreme Audit Agency; Special Task Force for Upstream Oil and Gas Business Activities
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersPeasant Group Rantau Bais Terpadu[6];

Friends of the Earth Indonesia-
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)HIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
When did the mobilization beginMobilization for reparations once impacts have been felt
Groups MobilizingFarmers
Local ejos
Local government/political parties
Social movements
sand miners
Forms of MobilizationBlockades
Land occupation
Official complaint letters and petitions
Street protest/marches
Refusal of compensation
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Floods (river, coastal, mudflow), Soil contamination, Oil spills, Waste overflow, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems
Potential: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Food insecurity (crop damage), Groundwater pollution or depletion, Global warming
Health ImpactsVisible: Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide, Other Health impacts, Accidents
Otherasphyxiation, sore throats,burn wounds,oil spill contained hazardous waste, which

was inhaled by the community;skin problems [6]

Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Displacement, Increase in violence and crime, Loss of livelihood, Militarization and increased police presence, Violations of human rights, Land dispossession
Potential: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Social problems (alcoholism, prostitution, etc..)
Project StatusIn operation
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseCourt decision (victory for environmental justice)
Do you consider this as a success?Not Sure
Why? Explain briefly.The anti-corruption court, convicting the two directors of Green Planet and Sumigita of corruption, damaged the Chevron's imagine. And of course the citizens and communities protests slowed down the Chevron activities and they have given visibility to environmental problems. But as yet Chevron didn't care to requests and repressed the protests.
Sources and Materials

M.H. Hasana, T.M.I. Mahliaa, Hadi Nurc, A review on energy scenario and sustainable energy in Indonesia, Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Volume 16, Issue 4, Pag. 2316–2328, May 2012
[click to view]

[7] Surya Darma, Sugiharto Harsoprayitno, Bambang Setiawan, Hadyanto,

R.Sukhyar, Anton W.Soedibjo , Novi Ganefianto and Jim Stimac, Geothermal Energy Update: Geothermal Energy Development and Utilization in Indonesia, Proceedings World Geothermal Congress 2010, Bali, Indonesia, 25-29 April 2010
[click to view]

[6] Pius Ginting, WALHI - Friends of the Earth Indonesia, An Alternative Annual Report May 2011, The True Cost of Chevron, p. 39 Indonesia.
[click to view]


Ben Bland and Taufan Hidayat, Chevron employees sentenced in Indonesia corruption case, Asia-Pacific, July 18, 2013
[click to view]

[1]Generating clean, reliable and affordable electricity in Indonesia, The Guardian, 27 February 2013
[click to view]

Cochrane Joe, Chevron worker convicted in corrupt
[click to view]

[8] Chevronindonesia, About Chevron in Indonesia
[click to view]

[3] Fergus Jensen, CORRECTED-Chevron criticises imprisonment of Indonesian contractor,, Wed May 8, 2013
[click to view]

[4] JOE COCHRANE, Conviction of Chevron Worker Spurs Oil Industry Concerns in Indonesia, JULY 17, 2013
[click to view]

[2]MURRAY HIEBERT, Indonesia’s Skewed Case Against Chevron, Nov. 5, 2014
[click to view]

[5]Chevron Statement on Central Jakarta District Court Verdict for Bachtiar A. Fatah

JAKARTA, INDONESIA, October 17, 2013
[click to view]

Other Documents

Spilled oil resulting from the 2010 pipeline explosion in Manggala Jonson Village [6] Pius Ginting, WALHI - Friends of the Earth Indonesia, An Alternative Annual Report May 2011, The True Cost of Chevron, p. 39 Indonesia.

file:///C:/Users/_c_jornades_inv_cea/Desktop/Ejatlas/2011-alternative-annual-report.pdfChevron in Indonesia
[click to view]

Spilled oil resulting from an October 2010 oil pipeline explosion in Manggala Jonson Village. Two local girls suffered burn wounds in the explosion. [6] Pius Ginting, WALHI - Friends of the Earth Indonesia, An Alternative Annual Report May 2011, The True Cost of Chevron, p. 39 Indonesia.

file:///C:/Users/_c_jornades_inv_cea/Desktop/Ejatlas/2011-alternative-annual-report.pdfChevron in Indonesia
[click to view]

Meta Information
ContributorMyriam Bartolucci, EjAtlas internship researcher, [email protected]
Last update11/04/2016