Jakarta grants 30% stake of Ma­hakam gas block to To­tal, In­pex

The China Post - - WORLD BUSINESS -

In­done­sia an­nounced Fri­day it will grant a 30-per­cent stake of the Ma­hakam gas block to be shared be­tween French To­tal and Ja­panese In­pex, while giv­ing the ma­jor­ity stake to state-owned oil firm Per­tam­ina in 2018.

Oil gi­ant To­tal, along with In­pex, has been run­ning Ma­hakam, a huge nat­u­ral gas block off­shore of East Kal­i­man­tan province, since 1967. To­tal has ex­pressed it wanted to con­tinue op­er­at­ing the block when the con­tract ex- pires at the end of 2017.

How­ever, Pres­i­dent Joko Wi­dodo’s gov­ern­ment wanted Per­tam­ina to take over the block de­spite doubts over Per­tam­ina’s tech­ni­cal and fi­nan­cial ca­pac­ity.

“The con­sid­er­a­tion for the stake al­lo­ca­tion is that Per­tam­ina should re­ally play the role of an op­er­a­tor which con­trolled the ma­jor­ity of in­ter­est, and we also want to give ap­pre­ci­a­tion to the ( cur­rent) op­er­a­tors which have given the in­vest­ment,” energy min­is­ter Sudirman Said told re­porters.

Per­tam­ina will have to share some of its 70-per­cent stake with a lo­cal East Kal­i­man­tan com­pany, Said added.

To the frus­tra­tion of for­eign in­vestors, calls for na­tion­al­iza­tion of In­done­sia’s rich re­sources has grown louder in re­cent years.

“Most In­done­sians now are very na­tion­al­is­tic, and at the same time the ide­ol­ogy of the rul­ing party is also na­tion­al­is­tic, so it matched,” Ko­maidi No­tone­goro, Jakarta-based re­search body Re­forMiner AFP.

“What hap­pened now is some­thing that the public like, even though in­vestors such as To­tal might de­spise it,” he added.

To­tal de­clined to com­ment on the de­ci­sion.

“At this mo­ment we will not is­sue any com­ment or state­ment re­gard­ing the Gov­ern­ment of In­done­sia’s de­ci­sion on Ma­hakam af­ter 2017,” Kris­tanto Har­tadi, a spokesman for To­tal E&P In­done­sie, told AFP.

In­sti­tute,

told

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