21 Jun 2021 15:51

Zarubezhneft completes purchase of 50% of Tuna PSA project offshore Indonesia from Premier Oil

MOSCOW. June 21 (Interfax) - Zarubezhneft has completed the purchase of 50% of the Tuna production sharing agreement (PSA) project offshore Indonesia from the United Kingdom's Premier Oil.

Zarubezhneft told Interfax the parties had closed the deal in December 2020.

"The plans to acquire the Tuna block are part of Zarubezhneft's strategy to create a new cluster bringing together the company's existing Block 12/11 in Vietnam, Block 11-12 in Vietnam where KNOC has a 75% stake and PetroVietnam has 25%, and the Tuna block," the company said earlier. It is assumed that Premier Oil will retain project operatorship.

"One cluster has been formed there [in Southeast Asia], linked to Vietsovpetro. We are currently forming a second cluster there; this is more associated with gas. That is, both a number of our enterprises and a number of deals which we are involved in as of today. Hopefully, we will reach a comparable volume of gas production within the next year or two, which will enable us to create a second cluster in Southeast Asia - a gas one," Zarubezhneft head Sergei Kudryashov said in an interview with the Rossiya-24 TV channel.

Kudryashov said the company only had the Tuna asset in Indonesia and was not planning to enter new projects on the territory in the near future. "Our strategy is to enter a small asset. These are always minimal risks. Due to the size, they are small. Because there are political, economic, geopolitical risks - it's better to go through everything as a battle, understand where we are, and then expand," he said.

Kudryashov said the company adhered to the same strategy in both Egypt and Uzbekistan.

Tuna has estimated reserves of 100 million barrels of oil equivalent.

He said the block was now at the geological exploration stage and two successful wells had already been drilled. It is planned to clarify the resource base within three to four months. "The rig is currently preparing to be moved to the point and start drilling," Kudryashov said.

In November 2017, PetroVietnam, SKK Migas - on behalf of the Indonesian government, and Premier Oil signed a memorandum of understanding on further sales of gas from the Tuna block to Vietnam, which would facilitate the object's further commercialization.