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Pertamina revives interest to purchase stakes in Masela block


JAKARTA ( – As the government is assessing whether the operator of Masela Block, Inpex Corporation, should build offshore or onshore processing facilities, the  state energy company PT Pertamina renews its interest to purchase stakes in Masela Block, operated by Inpex Corporation of Japan.

President Director of Pertamina Dwi Soetjipto told reporters Friday that Pertamina has officially submitted its letter of interest for portion of Masela Block shares.

“We have submitted (proposal for Masela participating interest).  Certainly we are ready if you ask whether we are ready or not. If we are not ready, we will not submit our interest,” Dwi Soetjipto said, as quoted by Kompas daily.

He said Pertamina has the capability to purchase 20-25 percent participating interest in the Masela Block. The funds to purchase interest can come from internal cash flow and loan.

Inpex has yet to make official comment in response to Pertamina’s interest.

A local company, PT Energi Mega Persada, owned by Bakrie Group, earlier held 10 percent working interest in the Masela Block. However, the company has sold its participating interest back to Inpex due to financial difficulties.

Currently, Inpex holds 65 percent working interest in Masela Block and the remainign 35 percent is held by Shell.

The block contains huge gas reserves of around 10.7 trillion cubic feet (tcf).

Inpex has submitted the revised Plan of Development (PoD) for Abadi Field in Masela Block worth around US$14 billion. The Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry (ESDM) earlier attempted to approve the PoD in October last year.  However, the public debate over whether the operator should develop onshore facilities or floating LNG (FLNG) facilities has caused the approval to be delayed. (*)

Edited by Roffie Kurniawan

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