RI likely to extend contract on LNG export to Japan

Tokyo (Antara News) - President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono hinted here on Tuesday that Indonesia might agree to extend the contract on Indonesian liquefied natural gas exports to Japan which would expire in 2011.

"Our wish is that we could continue the cooperation after 2011," he said at a joint press conference with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe after the two met at the latter`s office.

Yudhoyono said the Indonesian government respected the LNG export contracts that would expire in 2010 and 2011.

Indonesia and Japan agreed to increase their cooperation in the field of energy with a view to boosting the country`s oil and gas production to meet demands on the domestic and export markets.

During the meeting the two leaders signed a memorandum of understanding titled "Strategic Partnership for a Peaceful and Prosperous Future."

President Yudhoyono said his visit to Japan gave a direct benefit to the country`s national development program on poverty alleviation and job creation.

Earlier Indonesian minister of energy and mineral resources Purnomo Yusgiantoro said Indonesia would consider extending the contracts on LNG exports to Japan if Japan would increase its investment in Indonesia.

"On the one hand, we will guarantee gas supplies to Japan, but on the other, we expect more investment from Japan," he said on the sidelines of an Indonesia-Japan Energy Round Table.

State-owned oil company Pertamina`s president director Ari Sumarno meanwhile disclosed that six Japanese LNG importers had asked the Indonesian government to respect the LNG export contracts between the two sides.

Five of the importers are Kenzai, Osaka Gas, Kyoso Power Electric, Tohoku Gas and Tokyo Gas.(*)
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