Pertamina, an Indonesian government-backed energy company, is expected to take over Shell’s stake in the Masela gas project, reported Reuters.

Citing Indonesian Energy Minister Arifin Tasrif, the report said Pertamina could take over the UK energy company’s stake by the end of the month.

Masela, also known as the Abadi LNG project, is currently operated by Japanese energy company Inpex, which holds 65% ownership. Shell holds a 35% interest in the project.

Officials of the Indonesian government have repeatedly urged the UK-based energy company to conclude the sale of its stake.

Without providing any other information, Arifin informed the members of the parliamentary committee in charge of monitoring the energy sector that Pertamina is leading a consortium to acquire the share.

Both Pertamina and Shell’s operations in Indonesia declined to comment, the news agency said.

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The news comes after a report that the Indonesian government warned Shell that its stake in the Masela project will be reclaimed if it fails to sell it by next year.

Last month, an official from the National Energy Council was cited by the news agency as saying that despite being granted enough time by the government, Shell has taken too long to decide whether or not to sell its stake.

Since 2019, Shell has sought to sell its interest in the project.

Indonesia expects to accelerate the development of the project to boost domestic production of natural gas.

The Abadi LNG project is anticipated to improve energy security in Indonesia, Japan, and other Asian nations with its annual production capacity of 9.5 million tonnes.