JAKARTA Dec 12 Indonesian state oil firm
Pertamina wants to buy the country's main natural gas
distributor, state-owned PT Perusahaan Gas Negara (PGN)
, but has made no official approach, a PGN spokesman
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's administration has been
considering such a deal over the past few weeks to give
Pertamina greater control over the distribution of the country's
natural gas. PGN controls 80 percent of the gas pipelines in
Southeast Asia's largest economy.
"It is true that there is an intention of Pertamina to
acquire PGN. But officially, we have not received any kind of
letter or anything which mentions that," said PGN spokesman
State-owned Enterprises Minister Dahlan Iskan told local
newspaper Tempo recently that the government could make a
decision on the acquisition sometime next year.
Some analysts have said a takeover by Pertamina won't
benefit PGN, and have attributed the gas distributor's recent
share price weakness to speculation about the acquisition. The
shares fell as much as 13 percent since the start of November
and are down 7 percent over that period as of Thursday's close.
Ababil said Pertamina would like to acquire PGN so it can
distribute gas without paying a fee.
"There is an interest from Pertamina to control upstream to
downstream gas activity. To do that, they need gas
infrastructure," he said.
"The one that already has gas infrastructure is PGN, while
their subsidiary Pertagas is dedicated to upstream."
Pertamina officials were not immediately available for
comment. Last month, the state oil company said in a statement
the proposed acquisition would help strengthen national energy
The Indonesian government owns 57 percent of PGN, in which
U.S. fund managers such as Capital Group, Vanguard and Matthews
International are also invested, as per their latest securities
Indonesia consumes about 40 billion cubic metres of gas a
year and demand is growing by at least 10 percent annually.
Natural gas accounts for about 20 percent of Indonesia's
energy mix, while coal has a 50 percent share and oil about 30
(Reporting by Ferges Jensen; Writing by Randy Fabi; Editing by