Indonesia eyes return to OPEC

Country left cartel in 2009 after becoming net oil importer

The 12-member group at a meeting.
The 12-member group at a meeting.

Indonesia is seeking to rejoin the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries to gain access to cheaper oil as domestic production drops and demand soars, the AFP has reported.

Southeast Asia's largest economy was key OPEC member for almost 50 years but left the cartel in 2009 after becoming a net importer of oil.

The news agency cited "a lack of investment from foreign companies, put off by complex regulations, corruption and growing economic nationalism" as the main reason for Indonesia's exit from the cartel.

The country's oil and gas sector remains plagued by similar problems with production levels decreasing at a fast pace, forcing the government to look at oil imports to fill the gap. 

"We are one of the biggest buyers, so naturally we should establish relations with producers, not only exporters," Indonesia's Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Sudirman Said said last month.

After a meeting in Vienna last month, where it asked to rejoin the group, Indonesia said it had the backing of some OPEC members. However, many remain sceptical. 

To be able to rejoin OPEC Indonesia will have to receive the backing of a majority of three-fourths of full members, including the concurring votes of all founder members, according to the group's statute.



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