Indonesia is forging ahead with its strategy of developing unconventional sources of oil and gas, announcing bids for three new shale gas blocks, according to information issued by the ministry of energy and mines, reports Platts.

The bids, which must be submitted by December 15th, are for: Blora, onshore Central and East Java; Batu Ampar in East Kalimantan; and Central Bangkanai, onshore Central and East Kalimantan.

The Indonesian government is investing in shale exploration to increase natural gas production in order to meet its energy export obligations and earn revenue through international sales.

The Indonesian government initiated four shale gas study projects in 2012, with the aim of expediting shale exploration, according to Shale Gas International. In May this year, the government signed four contracts for unconventional oil and gas exploration,

Indonesia is ranked the world’s 13th largest holder of proven natural gas reserves. However, in recent years, natural gas shortages caused by production problems and rising consumption have forced the country to buy spot cargoes of LNG to meet export obligations.