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JAKARTA (TheInsiderStories) – Indonesia’s oil & gas producer PT Pertamina claimed four international companies have shown their interests to manage the offshore Mahakam Block, the upstream director Syamsu Alam told reporters on Friday (22/06). He ensure the announcement the tender will be completed this year.

Last year, former CEO of Pertamina Elia Massa Manik declared, one investors interested become new partner in Mahakam block is United Arab Emirates’s Mubadala Petroleum.

In January of this year, Pertamina through its subsidiary PT Pertamina Hulu Indonesia has taken over the largest gas block in the country from current operator French petroleum company Total S.A. and Japan’s INPEXCorporation, ends the tenure of the two foreign companies operating the block since Oct. 6, 1966.

Earlier, Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources (MEMR) Ignatius Jonan has given the blessing to Total E&P to get 39 percent of Mahakam Block participating interest but the French producer rejected the offering.

The government has agreed to handover the 51 percent of the Mahakam Block interest to Pertamina and the remaining 10 per cent will be owned by local governments – the East Kalimantan Provincial and regency governments. Followed the Total E&P rejection now 39 percent share open for the new partner.

The state-owned energy company plan to allocated US$1.7 billion for the development of the Mahakam block in 2018, including plans to drill 70 wells in total. Pertamina is seeking to produce 42,010 barrels of oil per day and 916 million standard cubic feet per day of gas from Mahakam throughout 2018.

Last year, INPEX has announced to release its interests in two production-sharing contracts (PSC), namely the offshore Mahakam Block and the Attaka Block located in East Kalimantan, both of which are due to expire at year-end. As for the Attaka block, INPEX is in talks on the handover process both with the government and U.S oil producer Chevron Corporation.

Total E&P has been operating the giant Mahakam Block for over 40 years, in partnership with INPEX (non-operating partner). The last contract extension was made in 1997. Effective Jan. 1, 2018, Pertamina controlled the Mahakam Block from current operator French petroleum company Total S.A.

Meanwhile, the Special Task Force for the Upstream Oil and Gas Business Activities stated that the asset value of the Mahakam Block as of Dec. 31, 2017 stands at $3.45 billion. Until May 2018 the average gas production amounted to 951.8 MMSCFD. While crude oil amounted to 46 069 barrels per day.