British oil and gas worker kidnapped in Indonesia

Featured South East Asia - June 13th, 2013

Unidentified gunmen have kidnapped a British man working for an energy company in the Indonesian province of Aceh, officials said Wednesday.

Malcolm Primrose, a contractor for oil and gas firm Medco Energi Internasional, was reportedly taken by force from his vehicle by four armed men near the Matang-1 exploration site in East Aceh on Tuesday.

Local police said they are working to find his location and information on his condition, although the kidnappers have yet to be identified. The motive was also not immediately known and Medco had not yet received any ransom demand, reports AFP.

The British embassy in Jakarta confirmed the incident in Aceh. “We are in touch with the local authorities and his family. An embassy team has deployed to the area,” the embassy said in a statement.

The Briton had been working on a drilling project to explore gas in the jungles of the resource-rich province, and Tuesday was meant to be his last day in Aceh, according to a source.

Medco, which revealed last month it had made a potentially significant gas discovery at Matang-1 it jointly owns with UK-listed Premier Oil and Japan’s Japex, has come under pressure from local residents and officials in Aceh to guarantee that they will receive a bigger share of the proceeds from any resource discoveries in the restive province, reports the Financial Times.