The Hague (ANTARA News) - Vice President Jusuf Kalla said here on Sunday that Shell Royal Dutch oil company had expressed its readiness to move its oil processing operations to Indonesia.
"In a meeting over dinner Shell has expressed its readiness for it," he said after visiting the port in Rotterdam.
Dutch prime minister Jan Peter Balkenender in a meeting with Kalla earlier said that Shell wished to take part in the tender for the exploitation of the Natuna D Alpha Block.
Kalla welcomed the interest but no decision had yet been made on it.
Kalla said four companies namely Exxon from the US, Shell from the Netherlands and other companies from Europe and China had been on the list to compete for the project.
He admitted that Shell had the expertise but no decision had been made yet about it. So far, he said, Shell had already operated in oil downstream business in the country through its gas stations. In view of that he said the Indonesian government had asked the company to also take part in the upstream business as well as in oil refinement.
"However the most important thing for us is PT Pertamina," he said adding that the country`s state-owned oil company had to play the biggest role in the business.
The head of the Capital Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM), M Lutfi, meanwhile said that Shell`s chance would be bigger if it was willing to move its oil refining operations in Singapore to Indonesia.
He said he had suggested Batam and Bintan free trade zones which were only 20 kilometer away from Singapore for possible locations for the operations.
"If Shell would accept the offer I believe it would have a better position and added value than the other," he said.
Lutfi said if Shell would move its refining operations to Indonesia it could open up 930,000 new employment for the people in the country and mobilize its 42 company descendants.
He said the Indonesian government was currently opening an opportunity for world companies to participate in the exploitation of the Natuna D Alpha Block.
Although the government has given the right to exploit the block to PT Pertamina other companies could join as Pertamina`s partners.(*)