The talks between Pertamina and Aramco was a regular business deal, according to the minister. However, he would directly oversee the process to ensure that the outcome would be beneficial for both companies.
After he was sworn in by President Joko Widodo on Wednesday, October 23, 2019 Thohir stated that the talks on the refinery were a part of his priorities in office.
Pertamina and Aramco had started negotiations in 2014, but the talks were dragging because of differing views on the oil refinery's valuation. In mid-2019, the two oil companies agreed to extend talks on the potential cooperation of constructing an oil refinery in Indonesia from June to September this year.
Pertamina's President Director Nicke Widyawati said that the talks were still ongoing, but the two companies had yet to reach an agreement.
The construction of an oil refinery in Cilacap District, Central Java Province, was part of a six-refinery development master plan (RMDP) and new grassroots refinery programs (NGGR) launched by the Jokowi administration.
The programs look to increase the fuel produced by Pertamina from one million barrels per day (bpd) to two million bpd. (INE)
Related news: Aramco-Pertamina cooperation discussed by Jokowi, Saudi minister
Related news: Pertamina, Saudi Aramco to increase capacity of Cilacap refinery