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Jakarta Post

Masela saga ends as Jokowi announces onshore scheme

  • Ayomi Amindoni

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Wed, March 23, 2016   /  05:36 pm
Masela saga ends as Jokowi announces onshore scheme

President Joko '€œJokowi'€ Widodo discusses the development of the Masela gas block during a press conference last year. The President finally announced the government's decision on the deepwater gas block development on Wednesday.(Kompas.com/Indra Akuntono)

President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has decided on the fate of Indonesia'€™s largest deepwater gas project Masela after months of polemic, by approving an onshore development scheme in Maluku province.

Given the scale and complexity of the long-term project, the government took a long time to consider all aspects and input relating to the multi-trillion rupiah project, Jokowi said.

"Therefore, based on the calculations and considerations that I myself have made, we have decided to build the project onshore," he said at Supadio Airport's departure lounge in Pontianak, West Kalimantan, on Wednesday.

The main considerations, he continued, were the multiplier effects and the acceleration of economic development, both in the Maluku region and in terms of national development. "The energy and mineral resources minister and SKKMigas [the Upstream Oil and Gas Regulatory Special Task Force] will follow up on the decision," Jokowi added.

Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Sudirman Said added that the ministry would direct information on the decision to the contractors, Inpex Corp and Shell, to review and adjust the proposal of development (POD). The final investment decision (FID) is targeted to be completed in 2018.

"We will convey this news to investors through an official letter, then we give them the opportunity to review. With possibility of [the POD] being reviewed, there will be a little delay," he said.

He also urged SKKMigas to leave out unnecessary details from the discussion with Inpex and Shell to accelerate the project, highlighting Jokowi's stance on how the project should immediately benefit the surrounding communities as well as promote economic development. (ags)(+)