She said the government had indeed expected the signing to be done on October 28, 2011 but "there may be a little delay."
She said after meeting with state-owned oil and gas company Pertamina`s board of directors and commissioners that the government was now still discussing the terms and conditions in the contract.
The terms and conditions include profit sharing, domestic market obligation and first trance petroleum, she said.
Evita did not tell which terms and conditions that had not yet been finished.
"It is still being processed and it is not easy," she said.
On the same occasion Pertamina`s president director Karen Agustiawan meanwhile said that negotiations of the contract had not yet finished. "Not yet, not yet," she said.
Pertamina`s president of the board of commissioners Sugiharto and Pertamina`s director for upstream business M Husen said that the contract was under the government`s authority. "Our position is only waiting for the government`s decision," Husen said.
Husen said Pertamina did not yet know when the negotiations would finish.
Last August 19, Evita representing the government and Pertamina signed an agreement on principles for the Natuna East Block exploration and exploitation plans with its three partners namely ExxonMobil, Total EP Indonesia and Petronas Carigali.
Pertamina expects the signing of the cooperation contract on October 28 or in concurrence with the anniversary of the Youth Pledge Day.
East Natuna is estimated to have up to 46 trillion cubic feet gas reserves with CO2 content of up to 70 percent and therefore it needs an investment of more than US$50 billion to exploit them.
Karen Agustiawan had said gas production in East Natuna could be started 10 years after the signing of the contract or in 2021.
The government has officially appointed Pertamina to manage the Natuna Block D Alpha now known as East Natuna, based on the decree of the minister of energy and mineral resources number 3588/11/MEM/2008 dated June 2, 2008.
Based on the decree Pertamina then seeks partners as the block requires high technology to exploit.