The Jakarta Post
President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo remains undecided on the fate of the Masela natural gas block after an independent team submitted its recommendations in a study on the development of the site in the Arafuru Sea, Maluku.
Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Sudirman Said presented the study results in a limited Cabinet meeting in the Presidential Palace on Tuesday, saying the block should be developed under the offshore scheme through a floating storage regasification unit (FSRU).
However, Coordinating Maritime Affairs Minister Rizal Ramli recommended the block be developed under the onshore scheme.
Jokowi, meanwhile, said the development of the large project should be decided carefully in a way that would maximally the benefits of the nation in the utilization of natural resources.
"Let's not rush. The decision must be correct. I want this great project to provide benefits and multiplier effects to our national economy," said Jokowi as quoted by kompas.com in Jakarta on Tuesday.
Therefore, the final decision on the Masela block should be decided after Jokowi called the consultant, namely Poten and Partners.
Sudirman explained that the President needed to consult with the consultant on the best development scheme.
"Offshore and onshore development each have advantages and disadvantages. The President wants to decide it carefully," he said.
Jokowi, according to Sudirman, demanded that the decision on the Masela block also take into account regional development, urging a solution that, aside from the investment itself, contributed to development in industries such as fertilizer and electricity.
The Masela's plan of development (POD) has been approved in 2010. However, a revised plan was submitted to the Upstream Oil and Gas Regulatory Special Task Force (SKK Migas) following the discovery of greater gas resources.
The revision foresees increasing the capacity of the floating LNG terminal to 7.5 million tons per annum from 2.5 million tons previously.
Inpex, the operator of the Masela block project with a 65 percent stake, estimates the proven gas reserves at 10.7 trillion cubic feet. Shell owns the other 35 percent. (ami/ags)