A bad hangover: Triangle Energy’s Indonesia nightmare is back
Link copied to
Just when everything in Australia is coming together, oil producer Triangle Energy (ASX:TEG) has been hit with a legal claim from Indonesia.
Triangle sold out of a production sharing agreement for gas project Pase, a concession in North Sumatera near Banda Aceh, in February 2016.
Today the company said its former joint venture partner there, Aceh government-owned Perusahaan Daerah Pembangunan Aceh (PDPA), has launched an arbitration application with a centre in Jakarta.
PDPA claims Triangle didn’t comply with obligations to make corporate social responsibility contributions to a community development fund of about $1.1m, and to build a road worth about $US4.8m.
Triangle intends to defend the claim and is talking to Indonesian lawyers to assess the merits of the claim.
Managing director Rob Towner says the claim is “like opening a can of worms”.
Triangle sold its share of the concession to Enso Asia Inc for $US4.5m ($6.3m) cash, production royalties of 5 per cent of Enso Asia’s profit share up to a maximum of $2USm a year, up to $US7m in cost recovery payments, and $3m in bonuses and performance bonds paid to the Indonesian government.
Enso owes them $1m still, which it says it won’t pay until Triangle sorts out this claim.
A frustrated Mr Towner says Enso owns the joint venture, the project, and therefore its commitments, and they’ve had it confirmed that Enso has the field back in production as well.
“Our view is as a result we’ve sold it, and we don’t have that commitment,” he told Stockhead.
He says they were on temporary six-month-long PSCs for about three years until finally granted a proper licence in early 2015. By that time they’d decided to sell the licence holding company Triangle Pase Inc, as the field was in decline.
After a year of waiting, Triangle received West Australia government approval to do seismic tests on its offshore Xanadu find.
Investors and companies still harbour hopes that the field is analogous with Triangle’s next door offshore Cliff Head field, which produces about 1000 barrels of oil a day through a facility that can process up to 15,000.
Triangle and Norwest, the operator, expect contractor Synterra Technologies to be on site in mid-April and starting the survey a month later.
The share price was back up to 52-week highs after that news, but today slipped 8 per cent to 11c.
Triangle has been contacted for comment.