Acccording to the results of preliminary studies, the block holds quite large oil and gas reserves, Yusgiantoro said.

Director General of Oil and Gas at the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry Evita Legowo meanwhile said the block was anticipated to commence production in 2010 after the test had been finished.

Quoting the previous estimate of production from five drilled wells, she said quite large oil and gas reserves had been found in the Aster field.

We predict that they can produce 30,000-40,000 barrels per day, she said.

Yet, she added that the government of Indonesia must be careful in developing the block because it was situated on the Indonesia-Malaysia borders.