Indonesian state oil firm Pertamina is seeking a 30% participating stake at a gas field operated by Japan’s Inpex (1605.T), a senior company excecutive said on Friday.
Pertamina wants to expand its upstream activities and is looking at several potential gas fields in the country, including Inpex’s field in the Timor Sea, to boost its gas reserves and production.
“We have sent a letter to Inpex for the gas field…if we get 30% is better,” Ari Soemarno, Pertamina’s president director, told reporters.
“Pertamina is ready to prepare financing for that field if it’s involved,” he added.
Previously, Pertamina’s upstream director Karen Agustiawan had said Pertamina is looking at a 10% stake in the Inpex field, which has not yet produced any gas.
Inpex Holding Inc is currently the sole operator of the Abadi gas field in the Masela block in eastern Indonesia.
The field is estimated to have more than 10 trillion cubic feet of natural gas reserves.
If confirmed, that would make the project the second-biggest new gas field after the Tangguh project in Papua, which has combined reserves of 14.4 tcf.
Pertamina already has several gas fields in Indonesia, including in South Sumatra, which supplies gas-fired power plants in Jakarta via pipeline.
Indonesia, which has far more gas than oil, has pushed companies to move faster in developing gas projects as the country badly needs the fuel for domestic industries and exports. Indonesia, the world’s number-three LNG exporter after Qatar and Malaysia, is increasing its use of energy sources such as natural gas to reduce oil use because of high prices and dwindling domestic supply.