Laut Natuna Utara








Indonesia has recently updated its national map. The new map features the latest land and maritime boundaries of the Archipelagic country. In the updated map Indonesia has also renamed a portion of its exclusive zone at the Natuna Sea as the North Natuna Sea. The Indonesian Parliament has commended and supported the updated map.


The updated map was officially announced on July 14, 2017 by Mr. Arif Havas Oegroseno, Deputy for Maritime Sovereignty of the Coordinating Ministry for Maritime Affairs in Jakarta.  According to Mr. Arif, the new map will soon be reported to the United Nations and the International Hydrographic Organization for registration.


The map contains some relevant updates and an internal adjustment, which has to be made in accordance with the recent domestic and international developments. Updating national map is not a new thing. It is a common practice, which is made in accordance with the international practices.


Indonesia has concluded and ratified two important Maritime Boundary Treaties with Singapore and the Philippines. The two Treaties will soon come into effect. Therefore, Indonesia has to update its map and notify the domestic public and international communities of the final maritime boundaries with its two bordering countries, as well as the naming of the North Natuna Sea within its own ZEE at the Natuna Sea.


The naming of the North Natuna Sea, is merely an internal affairs of Indonesia. It is located within the Natuna Sea, which is the Zone of Economic Exclusive of Indonesia. Therefore, Indonesia has renamed part of the Natuna Sea to be the North Natuna Sea. It is indeed a relevant adjustment to a number of oil and gas explorations at the Natuna Sea. Since 1970s, Indonesia has granted several oil and gas explorations in the Natuna Sea to Multi National Companies. And all of the oil and gas explorations at the Natuna Sea have been named in line with their geographic indicators, namely the South Natuna Block, the East Natuna Block and the North Natuna Block.  The naming is also intended to create a clarity or coherency between the continental shelf and the overlying water column at the Natuna Sea.


Updating Indonesia’s map is made with the view to adjusting it with the recent domestic and international developments. It has nothing to do with the territorial dispute in the South China Sea. For, Indonesia is the non claimant state to the dispute. The updated map will help the local authority to exercise its jurisdictions. It will also ascertain the international community whose territory they pass through.


prepared by :

Albert Matondang

Senior Counsel