Indonesia needs new investor to manage Masela gas block

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Masela Block
Masela gas block. (Source: CNN Indonesia)

Jakarta, IO – Coordinating Economic Minister Airlangga Hartarto said President Joko Widodo has given a directive to find new investors for the Masela gas block to replace Shell, which has withdrawn as Inpex’s working partner in the massive gas field.

“It is hoped that the government can negotiate the investment in the Masela Block, which is planned to worth US$20 billion or around Rp287 trillion. And due to Shell divestment, the President has given an order to immediately open negotiation and look for new investors, including bringing in INA Sovereign Wealth Fund into the project,” Airlangga said as reported by CNBC Indonesia, Thursday (25/8).

Previously, the Upstream Oil and Gas Special Regulatory Taskforce (SKK Migas) said that PT Pertamina (Persero) is currently looking at joining the management of the Masela Block. This came after the president asked State-Owned Enterprises (BUMN) to be involved in the project.

SKK Migas spokesperson Mohammad Kemal said state-owned oil and gas company Pertamina has submitted a bid proposal. It is currently conducting a study to acquire the stake from Shell. Shell currently has 35% stake in the Masela block. But Kemal didn’t reveal how much stake Pertamina will acquire.

Read: Pertamina trials Pertalite purchase by registration

Apart from Pertamina, Kemal also revealed that there are companies from the United States who are looking at the opportunity. “Yes, that’s right (a US company), there are also several other companies that are looking at Masela’s data. We hope it can be completed in the near future,” Kemal confirmed. (rr)