Inpex Says No Talks Held on Pertamina's Interest in Masela Block

Japan's oil and has exploration and production company Inpex Corp. did not hold any discussion with Indonesian national oil company PT Pertamina regarding the latter's reported interest in acquiring a stake in the Masela block, where the field operator is working to develop the Abadi liquefied natural gas (LNG) project in the Arafura Sea, Indonesia, a company executive says.

"Inpex is aware of media reports that Pertamina is interested in participating in the Masela block ... (however) Inpex is not in discussion with Pertamina about its participation in the block," the Inpex executive told Rigzone.

News on Pertamina's interest in the Masela block surfaced following comments made by a senior official of Indonesia's Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources (MEMR) Wednesday.

"Informally, Pertamina said they were interested in owning a stake in the Masela block, because this is a new block and it has big potential," MEMR Upstream Oil and Gas Director Djoko Siswanto said, as quoted in a Reuters report Wednesday.

Inpex currently has a 65 percent operating interest in the Masela block, while Royal Dutch Shell plc holds the remaining 35 percent. Earlier in June 2014, the two companies acquired the 10 percent share belonging to Indonesia's upstream oil and gas company PT EMP Energi Indonesia (EMPI) after the latter agreed to divest its stake in the block.

The company provided an update on development work for the Abadi LNG project in a presentation of its financial results May 15.

"We are currently studying how to optimize the development plan, with a large scale floating LNG (FLNG) project considered to be a strong candidate based on internal evaluation of the deliverables obtained from the front end engineering and design (FEED) work as well as based on the results of the appraisal wells drilled," Inpex's President & CEO Toshiaki Kitamura said during the presentation.


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