June 18, 2019 / 4:18 AM / 6 months ago

Indonesia's Pertamina, Saudi Aramco extend refinery talks for three months

FILE PHOTO: An Aramco employee walks near an oil tank at Saudi Aramco's Ras Tanura oil refinery and oil terminal in Saudi Arabia, May 21, 2018. Picture taken May 21, 2018. REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah

JAKARTA (Reuters) - Indonesian state energy company PT Pertamina on Tuesday said it was extending negotiations with Saudi Aramco on the potential joint development of an oil refinery in the country by another three months.

That comes after talks were previously extended by six months from last December, with Pertamina on Tuesday reiterating that the two sides had been unable to agree a “valuation” for the refinery, without giving further details.

Pertamina and Aramco in 2016 agreed to negotiate to form a joint venture to build and operate the Cilacap refinery in the province of Central Java.

Pertamina spokeswoman Fajriyah Usman said in a statement on Tuesday that the two companies would extend talks by three months and that they had agreed to hire a financial adviser to help finalise a deal.

The Cilacap refinery is one of six major projects that are part of a push to double Pertamina’s refining capacity to 2 million barrels per day (bpd).

Pertamina officials said in April that if talk with Aramco failed, the Indonesian company would launch the project without a partner to meet an operational target of 2025.

Reporting by Wilda Asmarini; Writing by Fransiska Nangoy; Editing by Joseph Radford

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