January 22, 2020 / 10:38 AM / 2 months ago

Indonesia's Pertamina considers buying stake in Rokan block ahead of 2021 transfer

JAKARTA, Jan 22 (Reuters) - Indonesia state oil and gas company PT Pertamina is considering buying a participating interest in Rokan block this year, an official said, only a year ahead of the block being handed over to the company from Chevron Corp.

Indonesian government decided in 2018 that the operation of Rokan, the country's second-biggest crude oil producing block, would be transferred to Pertamina as Chevron's contract expires in August 2021, but the Indonesian company is keen to start drilling at the block ahead of schedule.

"We are interested as we set up efforts to maintain production levels throughout the handover period," said Tajudin Noor, corporate secretary of Pertamina told Reuters by text message.

He declined to comment on how much interest Pertamina aims to buy, but said the company wants to have a participating interest level at which it "will have a call to drive the necessary investment."

Pertamina has lobbied Chevron to allow the state-company to start drilling ahead of the 2021 timeline and has previously said it targets to start drilling at Rokan in the third quarter this year.

Reporting by Wilda Asmarini Writing by Fransiska Nangoy Editing by Louise Heavens

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