JAKARTA, Dec 24 (Reuters): Indonesia aims to export natural gas to Vietnam starting 2026 from the Tuna offshore block located near the Indonesian and Vietnamese maritime border, the country's energy minister has announced.
South-East Asia's biggest economy may deliver 100 to 150 million standard cubic feet per day (MMSCFD) of gas through a gas pipeline from the Tuna block operated by Harbour Energy, energy minister Arifin Tasrif told reporters.
The Tuna oilfield, with around 100 million barrels of oil equivalent, was discovered in April 2014, the company's website shows.
Meanwhile, Indonesia's central bank raised its key policy rate on Thursday but at a slower pace than in recent months, reaffirming that inflation was coming under control while forecasting a slower pace of economic growth next year.
Bank Indonesia (BI) raised the benchmark 7-day reverse repurchase rate by 25 basis points (bps) to 5.50%, as expected by the majority of economists polled by Reuters, after three consecutive 50 basis point hikes since September.
It also reiterated its aim to keep the rupiah stable, while announcing a new instrument to boost the onshore supply of dollars and shore up the currency by encouraging banks to pass exporters' foreign currency savings to the central bank.
"The decision to increase interest rates in a more measured manner is a follow-up step for a front-loaded, pre-emptive and forward-looking way to ensure the continued decline in inflation and inflation expectations, so that core inflation is maintained within the range of 2% to 4%," Bank Indonesia Governor Perry Warjiyo said.
In total, BI has hiked rates by 200 bps since August.
The inflation rate in Southeast Asia's largest economy jumped in September to a seven-year high of 5.95%, after the government raised subsidised fuel prices early that month.
Inflation has since cooled, and while November's rate of 5.42% remained above the central bank's 2% to 4% target range, Warjiyo said it was below the central bank's forecast and inflation expectations were declining.
He expected headline inflation would not exceed 5.4% in December and would come down to 3% by the end of next year. - Reuters