(Corrects paragraph 4 to show Pertamina has agreement to buy LNG from Cheniere from 2018, not 2019)
* Govt official says unlikely to need to import gas until 2020
* Comment comes despite Pertamina’s plan to buy LNG from Cheniere from 2018
* Says country still has 16-18 uncommitted LNG cargoes for 2017
JAKARTA, July 12 (Reuters) - Indonesia is unlikely to need to import natural gas until at least 2020 due to robust production at home, a senior government official said on Wednesday.
The Southeast Asian nation has ramped up gas consumption targets in recent years for environmental reasons, and plans to subsidise natural gas for industrial buyers.
“Our production has turned out to be better than predicted,” the country’s Director General of Oil and Gas Wiratmaja Puja told reporters on Wednesday, without giving further detail.
The comment comes even as state-owned Pertamina has an agreement to buy liquefied natural gas (LNG) from U.S.-based Cheniere Energy Inc from 2018.
“Pertamina has businesses in various countries, so we can re-sell to Bangladesh or others. We are pushing Pertamina to go global,” Puja said.
Meanwhile, Puja said that the resource-rich country is looking for buyers for 16 to 18 uncommitted LNG cargoes for this year.
He expects an average of 50 to 60 of uncommitted cargoes per year until 2035. (Reporting by Wilda Asmarini and Bernadette Christina Munthe; Writing by Fransiska Nangoy and Joseph Radford)