Govt steps up efforts for gas-rich Masela block
The government is trying to expedite the completion of the master plan for the development of the Masela block in Arafura Sea as it prioritizes efforts to find prospective off-takers responsible for gas production in the block.
Global oil and gas giants Inpex and Royal Dutch Shell, as the owners of Masela’s respective stakes of 65 percent and 35 percent, are in the process of developing the block with an onshore plan worth around US$19 billion.
“The problem in the Masela project lies in [the lack of] off-takers. The Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry is now trying to settle this matter,” Coordinating Maritime Affairs Minister Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan said on Monday evening.
Masela is expected to produce 150 million standard cubic feet per day (mmscfd) of natural gas and 9.5 million tons per annum (mtpa) of liquefied natural gas (LNG) once it is on stream in 2027.
However, as of today, the government has yet to find committed off-takers for those commodities, partly due to their high prices.
The Office of the Coordinating Maritime Affairs Minister is now working with the Industry Ministry to formulate the plan for developing downstream industries near Masela, including petrochemical and fertilizer plants.
“We are also preparing several regulations that will be a reference for investing in Masela,” said Ridwan Djamaludin, the office’s deputy of infrastructure coordination.