"It is not consistent with the government`s commitment to give priority to domestic market."
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Indonesian lawmakers have reminded the government of its pledge to give priority to domestic market in gas sales.

Lili Asudiredja, a member of the Commission VII of the House of Representatives, said it would be regrettable if the government chooses to sell again gas from the Tangguh field of Papua to Japanese buyers.

"It is not consistent with the government`s commitment to give priority to domestic market," Lili said here on Monday.

Lili said the government is negotiating with China on the gas price, which has been much lower than the prevailing price in international market.

China is one of the contract buyers for gas from Tangguh and the price of gas under contract made several years earlier with China is much lower.

Indonesia has demanded revision of the contract with the Chinese buyer in price for gas from Tangguh, which holds one of the largest known gas reserves in the country.

Indonesia is one of the largest gas producers and suppliers in the world but its domestic market has always suffered shortfall in gas supply.

Most of the country`s gas production in liquefied natural gas (LNG) has been exported under long term contracts leaving little for domestic consumers.

Meanwhile domestic gas requirement is growing fast over the past several years creating constraint in gas supply.

A big urea fertilizer plant in Aceh has been closed on problem in securing gas supply as feedstock.

Meanwhile, Bobby Rizaldy, another lawmaker from Commission VII, said he has information that the government has agreed on the planned gas exports to Japan from Tangguh.

Under the agreement, 16 cargoes (a cargo is around 55,000 tons) of LNG would be exported to Japan from Tangguh every year from 2013 to 2035, Bobby said.

He said the agreement hurts the domestic industry, adding development of the domestic industry would be badly hampered.

The country still have a number of big gas projects such Donggi Senoro in Sulawesi, Masela in southern Maluku and the East Natuna in in south China sea, but it would take years before the projects come on line.

The Donggi Senoro LNG project is now under construction and is expected to come on line in 2014.

Editor: Priyambodo RH
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