ExxonMobil, Pertamina ink deal to develop Indonesian gas field

Indonesia's state-owned oil and gas company PT Pertamina has signed a deal with the US oil and gas giant ExxonMobil Inc to jointly develop the large East Natuna gas block in Indonesia's Riau Islands province.

The head of agreement was signed Friday in the nation's capital Jakarta in the presence of Indonesia's energy and mineral resources minister Darwin Zahedy Saleh.

Meanwhile Pertamina said that it would add more partners for the prolific gas venture in the East China Sea.

''Pertamina still has to select several other partners based on the ongoing short-listing process,'' Darwin said.

The East Natuna block is estimated to have reserves of 500 million barrels of oil and 222 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, making it one of the world's largest gas resources. However, only about 46 per cent of the resource is extractable due to its high carbon dioxide content.

Darwin said that the gas from the field would be used to meet domestic demand. The minister further stated that the selling price of the gas would be at market rates to woo investors.