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Jakarta Post

Shell begins divestment of Masela block

  • Norman Harsono
    Norman Harsono

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Tue, August 25, 2020   /   11:56 am
Shell begins divestment of Masela block A Shell logo is seen at a gas station in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on March 12, 2018. Shell has received government permission to open geological data on the gas-rich Masela block in Maluku to potential buyers, marking its first step in divesting the asset. (Reuters/Marcos Brindicci)

Shell has received government permission to open geological data on the gas-rich Masela block in Maluku to potential buyers, marking its first step in divesting the asset.

The company will divest the block over an estimated 18 months time while the block’s lead operator, Japan’s Inpex Corp, and the Upstream Oil and Gas Special Regulatory Taskforce (SKK Migas) would focus on developing the nationally-strategic Abadi gas project within the block, said an SKK Migas official.

Read also: Shell plans to exit gas-rich Masela Block project

“The aim is to have [Abadi] onstream by 2027 and we have agreed with operators to try and stick with this schedule,” SKK Migas head Dwi Soetjipto told lawmakers on Monday.

He emphasized that Shell would continue developing the Abadi field despite having received permission from the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry and the Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) to begin divestment.

Shell’s plan to exit the Masela block dealt a major blow to Indonesia’s energy ambitions as the block, which holds 10.7 trillion cubic feet of proven gas reserves, carries the biggest investment value among Indonesia’s four nationally-strategic oil and gas assets.

The Masela block, which is 35 percent operated by Shell and 65 percent operated by Japan’s Inpex Corp, holds the Abadi project slated to produce 347 thousand barrels of oil equivalent (mboepd) per day, which is more than the other three assets, SKK Migas data show.

The block’s Abadi project reached 2.2 percent completion as of June this year, below the targeted 10.5 percent, due to lockdown-related delays, according to the data.

Read also: As Chevron exit looms, Indonesia eyes Italian Eni to take over IDD gas megaproject

"[Shell] looked at the global portfolios under them and decided that investment in other countries was more profitable,” said Inpex Indonesia corporate service vice president Henry Banjarnahor, also on Monday.

He said Inpex and SKK Migas were working to procure equipment, complete an environmental impact assessment, acquire land, secure gas buyers and map local weather patterns, among others activities, in the Abadi field.

Shell Indonesia did not immediately respond for comment.