Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Rizal Ramli is convinced that Inpex Corporation, the contractor of Masela Blocks Abadi gas field project, Maluku, will not resign after the government decided to build an onshore refinery.

Rizal stated that the reason why Inpex would not pull out of the project is because the Japanese company had spent up to US$ two billion in explorations on Indonesias largest gas field in Arafura Sea, Maluku Province.

"There are parties that have tried to scare us that Inpex will resign if the government decides to build the Masela refinery plant onshore. Certainly, it will not as it has spent US$ two billion on research and has obtained a mining field that could be tapped for 70 years," Rizal noted.

The maritime affairs coordinating minister made the remarks on the sidelines of his bilateral talks with Dutch Foreign Minister Bert Koenders at Kempinski Hotel.

Japans Inpex Corporation had earlier planned to develop an offshore refinery in Masela Block.

Rizal said the Abadi gas field in the Masela Block had actually attracted several investors.

"There is no problem if Inpex is willing to leave. There are several investors who are interested," he pointed out.

President Joko Widodo has decided that the refinery plant of the Abadi gas field in the Masela Block should be built onshore.

Following the decision, Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Sudirman Said ordered the Upstream Oil and Gas Regulator SKK Migas to communicate the governments decision to the investor, so that the contractor would review their plans that it had submitted earlier.

The minister had also ordered SKK Migas to communicate the problems with the district and provincial governments of Maluku.

SKK Migas should also cooperate with the investors, so that the plans could be reviewed immediately, and a final investment decision would be made in a not-too-distant time.

Head of SKK Migas Amien Sunaryadi stated at a press conference on Thursday that his side had met the two contractors: Inpex Corporation and Shell Upstream Overseas Service Ltd. It is believed that the contractors will not resign from the project.

"After a discussion, we concluded that Inpex and Shell will not pull out of the Masela Block. They only need time to recalculate their work plans for an onshore refinery plant," Amien noted.(*)

Editor: Heru Purwanto
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