audi Aramco and Indonesian state firm Pertamina have again extended their talks over a planned upgrade and expansion of the latter’s Cilacap refinery, Reuters quoted Indonesia’s SOE minister Erick Thohir as saying. The companies have extended their negotiations a number of times as they struggle to agree on a valuation for the project, says Mr Thohir, who adds that the financial advisor they have appointed has not yet decided on a value. “We are trying to have an agreement this year, that’s what we’re pushing for,” he says.

Aramco has a preliminary agreement to take a 45% stake in a $4-5bn upgrade of the Cilacap refinery and integrated petchems plant in Central Java, which includes raising crude distillation unit capacity from 348,000 b/d to 370,000 b/d. Aramco has requested its stake be reduced to 30%. Cilacap is one of a number of downstream deals linked to crude oil sales that Aramco is pursuing in Asia, the most recent being a proposed $15bn purchase of a 20% stake in the refining and petchems business of India’s Reliance Industries (MEES, 16 August). (CONTINUED - 182 WORDS)