Bengkalis is one of the regencies in Riau Province, Indonesia which is one of the 10 cities with the largest economy in Indonesia. Bengkalis Regency has a share of contribution to GDP of 1.16%, above the contribution of Semarang City. Bengkalis Regency is one of the districts in Riau Province, Indonesia which has an area of 6,973.00 km² and a population in 2020 of 593,397 people. Based on its geographical location, Bengkalis Regency has a very strategic location, because it is traversed by international shipping routes to the Strait of Malacca. Bengkalis Regency is also included in one of the programs of Indonesia Malaysia Singapore Growth Triangle (IMS-GT) and Indonesia Malaysia Thailand Growth Triangle (IMT-GT).
As recorded the Statistics Indonesia (BPS) in 2021, in the last 5 years GRDP Bengkalis Regency has experienced negative growth due to the decline in inventory value and the contribution of exports which was previously very dominant to the economy slowly began to decline. Based on recorded data, the net exports in Bengkalis regency have decreased with an average growth of -5.01% in the last 10 years. Where in the past 2020 it decreased by -4.35% (YoY), namely from IDR 44 trillion to 42 trillion.
Based on its business, the biggest income for Bengkalis Regency is from the oil and gas business, which contribute to the biggest budget. Bengkalis Regency is also an area that provides the largest contribution of petroleum in Indonesia. One of the oil blocks in Bengkalis Regency is the Rokan block. The Rokan Block is the largest oil block in Indonesia with an area of 6,220 km², located in 5 regencies in Riau Province, namely Bengkalis Regency, Siak Regency, Kampar Regency, Rokan Hulu Regency, and Rokan Hilir Regency. This block has 96 fields, of which three fields have the potential to produce excellent oil, namely Duri, Minas, and Bekasap.
Behind the production, which is the largest in Indonesia, currently there are several problems being experienced. As is well known, for decades, the oil content in the Rokan block has made Bengkalis Regency regional income swell from the distribution of the Revenue Sharing Fund (DBH), which is bigger than other areas in Riau.
However, the supply of oil in recent years has begun to slow down, along with the shrinking world oil price, which has an impact on the production capacity of the Rokan Block. This condition was exacerbated by the termination of the PT Chevron, as the operator of the oil field with the fat category, will be in 2021. As a result, the energy company from the United States has begun to put a brake on its investment to extract the Rokan Block. Even though the economic and government pulse of Bengkalis Regency is very much influenced by the DBH oil. This of course will be a challenge for the Bengkalis district government and PT Pertamina (Persero) as the new manager later.
Based on data from the Oil and Gas Special Task Force (SKK MIGAS), the average production in the Rokan block in 2021 is approximately 165,000 barrels of oil per day. Until now, Chevron will still invest USD 154 million to drill in the Rokan Block throughout 2021. Chevron’s first drilling was carried out at the end of December 2020. After the transition is complete, PT Pertamina (Persero).
Apart from petroleum, there are several other businesses that also support economic growth in Bengkalis Regency, such as crop commodities. The commodities in Bengkalis Regency are rice cultivated on an area of 14,319 ha, sago on an area of 17,710 ha, cassava on an area of 1,273 ha, corn on an area of 402 ha, peanuts in an area of 162 ha, and fruits (durian, bananas, rambutan, pineapple, mango, and other fruits) and vegetables in an area of 1,151 ha. Some of the areas designated for the development of these crops are Bantan and Bukit Batu for rice development, Bengkalis for the development of fruits and vegetables.
One of the typical products from Bengkalis Regency is Lempuk Durian. Lempuk Durian is a kind of sweet snack with durian dodol. Lempuk Durian is processed durian dodol which becomes even more special, because it is mixed with brown sugar in the manufacturing process. However, the lack of marketing for these products causes these products to only develop in the domestic market. Meanwhile, the export market is decreasing every year.
As for other business potentials that are also being developed in Bengkalis Regency, namely in the tourism sector. There are several popular tourist destinations, namely, Prapat Tunggal Marine Park, Rupat Beach, Tenggayun Bengkalis Beach, Jangkang Beach, Teluk Rhu Beach, Bukit Batu Protected Forest, Tasik Putri Pepuyu, Pasir Field, Sebauk Mangrove Forest, Istiqomah Bengkalis Great Mosque, Monkey Park Sekodi, and Aceh Beting Island.
Since 2020, to develop the Tourism Sector and improve the quality of tourist destinations in Bengkalis Regency, the Tourism, Culture, Youth and Sports Office (Disparbudpora) has continued to hold a few annual events. Here are the three best destinations in Bengkalis Regency:
1. Bukit Batu with the aim of being the jami ‘Datuk Laksamana Raja mosque in the sea, the residence of Datuk Laksamana Raja at the Sea, and the tomb complex of Datuk Laksamana Raja in the Sea.
2. Rupat Island with its destination is Pasir Panjang Rupat Utara beach and Beting Aceh Rupat Utara.
3. Bengkalis Island with destination destinations are Andam Dewi Park, Bandar Sri Laksamana, Sultan Syarif Qasim Museum, tomb of Panglima Minal, tomb of Dara Sembilan, tomb of Naualuh Damanik, Perapat Tunggal beach, and Indah Selat Baru beach.
In these three destinations, a routine annual event is always held to improve tourism prospects in Bengkalis Regency.