October 3, 2019 / 5:44 AM / 11 days ago

Indonesia's Pertamina, Saudi Aramco extend refinery talks until end-Oct - govt

JAKARTA, Oct 3 (Reuters) -

* Negotiations between Indonesian state energy firm PT Pertamina and Saudi Aramco over a joint venture to upgrade Pertamina’s Cilacap refinery have been extended further until the end of this month, an Indonesian official said on Thursday

* Arcandra Tahar, Indonesia’s deputy energy minister, said the extension was to give the two companies more time to agree on asset valuation

* Talks had been extended several times over disagreement on valuation for the refinery and Pertamina in April warned that if talks with Aramco failed, it would launch the project without a partner to meet an operational target of 2025

* Aramco and Pertamina agreed to negotiate to form a joint venture for this project in 2016

* Pertamina will decide “as soon as practical” its preferred partner for Balikpapan refinery upgrade, Tahar also said

* Pertamina already approached the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (Socar), Japan’s JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corp and the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) for possible partnership in the Balikpapan project (Reporting by Wilda Asmarini; Writing by Gayatri Suroyo; Editing by Aditya Soni)

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