Pertamina eyes Talisman Duvernay stake

Indonesian state-run player Pertamina is reportedly in early talks with Talisman Energy to take a stake in the Canadian company's large position in the liquids-rich Duvernay shale of central Alberta.

Sugiharto, Pertamina’s president commissioner, said at an energy conference in Calgary on Wednesday that the company is in the "infant stage" of discussing a possible partnership with Talisman, according to reports.

The Indonesian company has a capital budget of $7.9 billion this year that includes international acquisitions, Sugiharto said, adding that buying into the Duvernay would represent Pertamina's first move into Canadian oil and gas.

Talisman declined to comment.

Talisman is actively looking for a partner to help fund exploration in the emerging Duvernay, where it is the third biggest leaseholder among oil and gas companies with around 300,000 acres.

Chief executive Hal Kvisle said last month that Talisman "will need third-party funding to fully develop the play".

Investor documents show Talisman is assuming it will ultimately sell off interest in its Duvernay acreage, though Sugiharto did not specify how much Pertamina was considering. The asset could hold as much as 1.8 billion barrels of oil equivalent in unrisked resources, according to Talisman.

The company has drilled a handful of wells to retain its acreage and delineate its land holdings in the area.

Any joint venture in the Duvernay would be part of Talisman's $2 billion asset-divestment plan aimed at trimming debt. It sold 75% of its Montney shale position in British Columbia during the first quarter of 2014 for $1.4 billion to Petronas subsidiary Progress Energy.

Talisman and Pertamina have worked together in the past, with partnerships in Indonesia. The Canadian player sold a minority stake in the producing Offshore North West Java block to Pertamina in 2012.

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