Arifin Panigoro, The Indonesian Oil King with Superb Dedication

Arifin Panigoro, The Indonesian Oil King with Superb Dedication

Who does not know the name Arifin Panigoro? The Gorontalo-born, March 14, 1945, man is nicknamed the “Indonesian Oil King”. The nickname is inseparable from his contribution in advancing the Indonesian oil and gas industry.


His work in the oil and gas realm began in the early 1990s, during which the oil and gas industry was dominated by multinational companies. With great courage and dedication, he plunged into this high-risk and high-capital business world. Not only is he brave, he actually succeeded in building the national oil and gas company Medco Energy into one of the most respected oil and gas companies at home and abroad, comparable with other large oil and gas companies.

His dedication has been apparent from the start of his business. He started business as an electrical installation contractor until, thanks to his hard work, he succeeded in establishing the Meta Epsi Drilling Company in 1980. With the spirit of nationalism/ together with colleagues from ITB, within 12 years, he succeeded in acquiring Tesoro shares which controlled the Block in East Kalimantan in 1992.

His star in the oil and gas industry is growing ever brighter. In 1994, Medco was listed on the Indonesia Stock Exchange under the name Medco Energi Internasional. A year later, thanks to his intuition, Medco acquired STANVAC in South Sumatra, and managed to find a giant oil field in the Rimau Block.

The oil and gas business in Indonesia is certainly not a walk in the park. The road is rife with obstacles, including the fluctuations in world oil prices and the crisis hitting this country. As evidence of his dedication in pursuing the oil and gas business, all of these did not make him budge from this business. Today, Medco’s business continues to grow. This energy company has even acquired international oil and gas blocks. In addition, Medco has also expanded into the power generation business through its subsidiary, Medco Power Indonesia.

It is no wonder, that for his dedication and contribution to the oil and gas industry, President Joko Widodo awarded him the Mahaputra Naraya Star on August 13, 2019. In addition, in the same year, Arifin Panigoro was asked to serve as a Member of the Presidential Advisory Council for the 2019-2024 period.

Hence, as a form of appreciation for his contribution and inspiration, the 46th Indonesia Petroleum Association Convention and Exhibition in 2022 awarded Lifetime Achievement Awards to Mr. Arifin Panigoro, the Founder of Medco Energy.

This award is meant for an inspiration and spirit for Indonesian oil and gas people to continue working in maintaining Indonesia’s energy security as Arifin Panigoro has always done.