In 1972, a small oil and gas contractor called CV. Sele was founded in the remote hinterland of Sorong, Papua. It initially performed shot hole drilling to gather seismic data but soon expanded its capabilities to become a comprehensive provider of technical services including drilling and workver services. Four years later, in 1977, the company renamed itself to PT Sele Raya.

Over time, PT Sele Raya began to expand to other parts of Indonesia with projects in Kalimantan, the Java Sea, Sumatra, and East Java as a major contractor to leading oil companies such as BP, Caltex, Chevron, ConocoPhilips, CNOOC, Mobil Oil, Pearl Oil, Pertamina, Shell, Unocal, and others. Eventually, PT Sele Energi also began to provide oil and contractor service in the South East Asian region with initial expansion to Thailand in 1988.

This experience served as a valuable foundation for PT Sele Raya, equipping the company strong technical and project management skills for both onshore and offshore projects. Subsequently in the 1980s, the company moved into direct oil and gas production with substantial success. In 1987 it obtained its first oil field management contract through tender, to produce and ship 3,400 barrels of oil daily from the Sembakung field in northeast Kalimantan.

More concessions followed in swift order and the company decided to stop acting as a contractor to focus on its growing exploration and production interests. In turn, the company scales up its capabilities and infrastructure to keep pace, leading to the creation of what is today Sele Energi : a national company with regional interests and global standards.