July 12, 2019 / 6:42 AM / 9 days ago

Indonesia approves Inpex's plan for $20 billion Masela LNG project

JAKARTA (Reuters) - Indonesia’s energy ministry has approved a revision by Japan’s Inpex Corp of its development plan for the $20 billion Masela natural gas project, upstream oil and gas regulator SKK Migas said on Friday.

Regulator Chairman Dwi Soetjipto said the details of the approved plan were the same as agreed in a deal signed last month, including the timeline, estimated costs and fiscal conditions.

Inpex had to revise the gas block development plan, causing years of delay, after a government order in 2016 to move the project inland, versus the earlier plan for development offshore.

The Japanese oil and gas company, which controls 65% of the project, is expected to proceed with their final investment decision for the project, Soetjipto said.

The liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant, which will have a capacity of 9.5 million tonnes per year, is expected to start operations in 2027, he said.

In a heads of agreement signed in June, Indonesia gave Inpex initial approval for a 27-year contract extension to 2055.

An Inpex spokesman in Jakarta said the company has not yet received an official notification from the government regarding the approval of the revised plan.

Reporting by Wilda Asmarini; Writing by Fransiska Nangoy; Editing by Clarence Fernandez and Christian Schmollinger

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